Mushrooms in breadcrumbs with elderberry sauce
By: Sarah BeattieServes: 2
OCTOBER is a time of exuberant fruitfulness – great vivid splashes of colour from tomatoes, pumpkins, elderberries, pears and apples paint the garden. This year, due to the foot and mouth restrictions, I can’t get access to the fields to find puff balls so I was forced to experiment with shop bought, firm white cultivated mushrooms for this simple dish. They are an acceptable substitute but if you are lucky enough to get your hands on a giant puff ball, use a bread knife to carve it into 1.5cm thick slices and then egg and breadcrumb as described.
200g fine breadcrumbs
grated zest of ½ lemon
1 clove garlic, crushed
250g mushrooms, stalks removed
1 egg, beaten
30ml olive oil
For the elderberry sauce:
1 dried chili
3 crushed peppercorns
3 crushed allspice berries
Golden caster sugar
Combine the breadcrumbs, lemon zest, a couple of twists of coarsely ground black pepper, garlic and a pinch of salt.
Dip the mushrooms in the beaten egg and then toss in the breadcrumbs, pushing a few up the stalk cavity.
Fry, turning once, in the butter and olive oil until golden.
Serve with an elderberry sauce – see below – roasted butternut squash and some peppery, mixed leaves. If you have no access to elderberries, use brambles with the juice of ½ lemon, or try a fresh salsa with green chilies, fresh coriander, chopped kiwi fruit and a squeeze of lime.
Strip the elderberries into a pan, add the chili, peppercorns and allspice. Cover tightly and cook very slowly for 20 minutes.
Strain into a clean pan, add about 50g sugar - more if you prefer. Bring slowly to the boil and cook until syrupy. Serve hot or you can pot, like jam, in a small warm jar.
This is delicious with goats cheese, grilled or fresh, or a whole Camembert, flashed in a hot oven until it is molten inside (the perfect remedy for supermarket chalky ones). Just add good bread and green leaves.
© recipe copyright 2001 Sarah Beattie