Wild mushrooms, sautéed with butter, caramelised garlic and cream, layered with handmade pasta and wilted wild garlic. A really lovely vegetarian main course.
This recipe is a celebration of the bounty of spring. I found my first St. George’s mushrooms of the season this week and wanted a truly special dish to enjoy them to their fullest.
And what better to serve them with that the old namesake of this blog – ramsons. Or wild garlic. Or wild leeks. Or ramps. Or ramslök. Whatever name takes your fancy! Despite being named after this fabulous green, this blog has been mysteriously lacking in ramsons recipes thus far. Not anymore!
Already having some lovely wet garlic in my fridge, I decided to go for this trio of spring produce. Which also gave me an excuse to call this dish Wet & Wild! Bonus.
One extra positive about using garlic in this fresh state is that you don’t have to peel it. You can even use the less fibrous parts of the green stem. Less prep and higher yield. Yes!
And it offers more opportunity for vegetable objectification…
Having cooked a whole lot of garlic mushrooms in my time, I have concluded that for the most delicious results, these two fantastically complementary ingredients actually need to be cooked separately. The flavour of the mushrooms is really enhanced with browning and a fairly high heat is needed to drive off the water that they release. The garlic, however, is at its best when cooked long and slow, especially when you use the large quantities of garlic that I am so very drawn to! So this recipe calls for them to be prepared individually, then combined.
For a healthy, weekday dish I would not use any fat at all when preparing my mushrooms – I have found a dry sauté to be very successful – but for this special dish, butter is required. And lots of it. St. George’s mushrooms have a particular affinity with butter, the combination transforming both into a sum far greater than its parts.
Slowly caramelised garlic and a little drizzle of cream are just the icing on the cake.
This dish was also a great opportunity to use my new favourite ingredient – truffle salt. I have used truffle oil in the past, with mixed results, but had been keen to try out this option having heard great things about it online. ‘The Internet’ was not wrong. The wave of powerful, truffle-y smell that hit my nose on opening this little jar was profound. So pungent. So truffle-y. So so good on eggs. On pasta. On mushrooms. On everything… But particularly on this lasagne.
Wanting a delicate, fairly neutral vehicle for the unique flavours of the wild mushrooms and ramsons, I chose sheets of handmade, fresh egg pasta. If that sounds like far too much work, a couple of thin slices of lightly toasted sourdough would also be delightful.
St. George’s mushrooms, sautéed with butter, caramelised wet garlic and cream. Wild garlic, gently wilted with a little butter and seasoning. Layers of fresh, handmade pasta – toothsome and tender, but still with a little bite.
A luxurious, elegant marriage of all that is wonderful about spring and wonderful about the wild bounty of nature.