Foraging for food is something I have started to do over the last few years. Hunting down blackberry bushes in the autumn is something I've always done but I've never considered it to be 'foraging'. To me, proper foraging involves a wicker basket, curiously shaped knives and an innate ability to avoid thorns and nettles. Since I started to appreciate the other things that can be found outdoors I have added other wild foods to my repertoire: rosehips, sloes, plums, strawberries, elderflower and now, at last, wild garlic. Somehow this most pungent of wild foods has eluded me until a few days ago when I finally found an abundance of it not a ten minute walk from my house.You will need:
1 small onion, finely chopped
150ml single cream
16 small leaves wild garlic, roughly chopped
Salt and pepper
Melt a knob of butter in a frying pan on a medium heat and fry the onion for at least 15 minutes or until starting to turn golden at the edges. Increase the heat, you may need to add some extra butter, then add the mushrooms. Fry the mushrooms until they are golden and sticky before turning down the heat to low and stirring in the cream. Simmer the cream, stirring occasionally, until it's reduced then add the wild garlic and some salt and pepper. Turn the heat off and let the garlic infuse with the cream while you slice and toast the brioche. Serve the mushrooms atop the brioche.
Mushrooms on toast is one of my favourite meals; it can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner and it delivers so much flavour for something so simple. Garlic and mushrooms are such classic flavours so it was only natural that the wild garlic would work wonders in this dish. They say that you can find wild garlic because you smell it before you see it. I have to say I've never smelt it and only found this lot because I knew the shape of leaf I was after; a quick rub between the fingers told me I'd found what I was looking for. The wild garlic does taste of garlic but at the same time it also tastes a bit like weeds; sort of spinachy grassy garlic but in a good way. I am so pleased to have finally found and made something with wild garlic; I was starting to think I'd never get to try it.