- 1 pound wild or cultivated mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- Coarse sea salt, preferably fleur de sel
MethodTrim stems off cleaned mushrooms and cut caps into bite-size pieces. Very small mushrooms can be left whole.
- 1 large cauliflower (about 1.3kg/3lb), stalks discarded and florets chopped
- 1 large potato, peeled and chopped into large chunks
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 25g butter
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1.2l light chicken or vegetable stock
- 600ml full-fat milk
- 142ml carton double cream
- 250g wild mushroom – choose from ceps, girolles (chanterelles), morels (either a mixture or just one type)
- 1-2 tbsp finely snipped chives
- Put the cauliflower, potato and onion in a large saucepan with the butter and half of the oil. Gently heat the contents until they start to sizzle, then cover with a lid and sweat over a low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. The vegetables should be softened but not coloured.
- Pour in the stock and bring to the boil, then pour in the milk and return gently to a boil. This way, there will be no scum forming from the milk. Season to taste then simmer, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes until the vegetables are soft. Pour in half the cream.
- Blend everything in a food processor or blender, in batches. For an extra creamy texture, push the purée through a sieve with the back of a ladle. Stir in the rest of the cream. (If preparing ahead cool, cover and chill for up to a day.)
- To serve, pick over the mushrooms. Wild mushrooms can be gritty so wash them quickly in a bowl of cold water then drain well and pat dry. Trim the stalks and chop or slice the mushrooms neatly. Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan and, when very hot, stir fry the mushrooms quickly until nicely browned, seasoning with salt and freshly ground black pepper as you cook them.
- Reheat the soup until piping hot. Check for seasoning and ladle into warmed bowls. Spoon the mushrooms into the centre and sprinkle lightly with the chives. Italy's elegant, mildly citrussy whites, such as Vernaccia di San Gimignano, or a Chardonnay would suit this rich soup.
- 1½ kg potato, cut into small chunks
- 4 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- 4 bay leaves
- 2 garlic cloves (don't worry about peeling)
- zest 1 lemon
- small bunch parsley, chopped
- Place the potatoes in a large pan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5-8 mins until starting to soften but not falling apart. Drain and leave to steam-dry in the colander for a few mins.
- Heat the oil and butter in a large frying pan. Scrunch up the bay leaves in your hands and add them to the pan along with the whole garlic cloves. Once the potatoes are dry, tip into the pan and season. Toss them in the pan and cook over a medium-high heat for 20-25 mins, turning often, using a fish slice so you don’t break them up.
- When the potatoes are crisp and golden, grate the lemon zest straight over and cook for 1-2 mins more. Taste for seasoning, then scatter with parsley and serve.
- 700g new potatoes
- 350g button onions, peeled
- 5 tbsp olive oil
- 2 ½ tbsp lemon juice
- 24 asparagus spears
- 150ml half-fat crème fraîche
- 1-2 tbsp capers, finely chopped
- knob of butter
- 250g punnet cherry tomatoes, halved
- flour seasoned with salt, for dusting
- 6 x 175g fillets of fresh haddock, skinned
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- knob of butter
- Boil the whole potatoes in water for 20-25 mins, or 30 mins if large. Add the button onions for the final 8-10 mins of cooking time. Drain. Halve the potatoes into a bowl and season. Halve the button onions if large, ready to sauté before serving. Whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice, then stir into the potatoes (see Gary’s tip, right). Keep warm.
- Trim and peel the asparagus. Place in a pan of boiling salted water for 2-3 mins until tender. Plunge immediately into iced water to prevent overcooking. Mix the crème fraîche and enough of the capers to suit your taste.
- Lightly flour the skinned side of the haddock, then season the other side. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan, then place the fish, floured side down, in the pan and cook over a medium-hot heat for 5-6 mins until golden brown. Turn the fish, add a knob of butter and baste it over the fish, then cook for a further 2 mins. Remove the pan from the heat and leave the fish to continue cooking in the warmth of the pan for a further 1-2 mins – this will finish cooking the fish without overcooking.
- While frying the fish, melt a knob of butter in another pan and, when sizzling, fry the button onions to a golden brown. Add the cherry tomatoes and asparagus to the pan to warm through, then season. Stir this into the potatoes.
- Spoon the potatoes onto warm plates, drizzle some of the salad dressing around, then drizzle with spoonfuls of the crème fraîche. Sit the fish on top and serve the remaining caper crème fraîche separately.