Ceps with artichoke & chives

Ceps with artichoke & chives

By
From
Gather
Serves
2
Photographer
Andrew Montgomery

I’m not going to lie, this has to be one of my favourite plates of food ever. I love its pastoral elegance – it feels and tastes like you’ve stolen the soul from an autumn woodland. That feeling (accentuated perhaps by how many ciders you’ve drunk), is a testament to good ingredients and simple cooking. If you can’t find ceps or porcini mushrooms locally during the autumn months, then, of course, you can buy them online from a variety of wild- and foraged-food specialists. There are alternatives: firm, cultivated chestnut mushrooms would work really well, too.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
350g jerusalem artichokes, peeled, skins reserved
2 garlic cloves, bashed but skin on
4 thyme sprigs
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 knob butter
sunflower oil, for deep frying
2 large cep mushrooms, cut into 1cm slices
1 small bunch chives, finely chopped
salt
freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 180°C. Cut the peeled artichokes into 3cm cubes. Place the cubes into a roasting tray, with the garlic cloves, thyme sprigs and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season all over with salt and pepper, then place in the oven. Roast, stirring once or twice, for about 1 hour, or until the artichoke cubes are tender and caramelized. Squeeze the softened garlic flesh from its skin and place it in a blender with the roasted artichoke, the butter and just enough water to loosen, then blitz to a smooth, spoonable purée. Check the seasoning and keep warm.
  2. Wash the reserved artichoke skins, drain and pat dry (they need to be completely dry for frying). Heat 2–3cm of sunflower oil in a medium saucepan over a medium heat. When it’s hot enough for frying (170°C on a cooking thermometer; or when a cube of bread sizzles and crisps quickly), fry the skins in batches for about 1–1½ minutes each, until crisp and golden. Don’t let them get too dark or they will taste bitter. Drain each batch on kitchen paper, then season with salt and set aside.
  3. Heat the remaining olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium– high heat until hot. Season the mushroom slices with salt and pepper and place them in the pan. Fry the slices for 2–3 minutes on each side, until they have taken on some colour. Remove the pan from the heat and stir through half the chopped chives.
  4. Divide the artichoke purée between two plates. Arrange the fried mushrooms around this, then scatter over the crispy artichoke skin peelings and the remaining chives. Serve straight away.
Tags:
River Cottage
seasonal
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