Alubias Blancas con Chanterelles

White Beans with Wood Mushrooms

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • 6

    Medias Raciones

Appears in

MoVida Rustica

By Frank Camorra and Richard Cornish

Published 2009

  • About

THE FORESTS OF SPAIN HAVE ALWAYS BEEN DARK AND MYSTERIOUS PLACES, FULL OF WOLVES AND BANDITS. THERE ARE REMNANTS OF ANCIENT FORESTS IN MANY PARTS OF THE COUNTRY — GREAT OAK FORESTS COVERED IN ENOUGH MOSS TO MAKE THEM LOOK LIKE TOLKIEN FANTASIES, AND GLOOMY ARBUTUS FORESTS WHERE WILD BOARS LURK IN THE SHADOWS. EVERY AUTUMN AFTER THE FIRST STEADY RAINS, DROVES OF SPANIARDS ARMED WITH KNIVES AND BASKETS HEAD TO THE FORESTS IN SEARCH OF TREASURED SETAS (WILD MUSHROOMS). WILD MUSHROOMS ARE SO DIFFERENT TO THEIR SHED-RAISED COUSINS: THEY ARE RICH, SLIPPERY AND GIVE SO MUCH MORE TO A DISH — ALMOST LIKE NATURE’S STOCK CUBE. I HAVE BEEN TO THIS PART OF SPAIN SEVERAL TIMES DURING MUSHROOM SEASON AND THE NEXT FEW RECIPES REFLECT BOTH THE LOVE THE LOCALS HAVE FOR MUSHROOMS AND THE RESPECT I HAVE FOR THEIR RECIPES. BECAUSE CHANTERELLES ARE HARD TO COME BY I’VE SUBSTITUTED THEM HERE WITH KING BROWN MUSHROOMS — GREAT WOOD MUSHROOMS IMPORTED FROM KOREA THAT STILL HAVE GOOD FLAVOUR.

Ingredients

  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 white salad onion, sliced
  • ½ red capsicum (pepper), seeded and membranes removed, thinly sliced lengthways
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 garlic bulb, plus 2 thinly sliced cloves
  • 300 g (10½ oz/ cups) dried cannellini beans, rinsed and soaked for 2 hours in cold water, then drained
  • 100 g ( oz) king brown mushrooms, sliced 3 mm (1/8 inch) thick
  • 100 g ( oz) shiitake mushrooms, sliced 3 mm (1/8 inch) thick
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 teaspoons sherry vinegar
  • a handful of chopped parsley

Method

Heat 100 ml ( fl oz) of the olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over high heat. Add the onion, reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, or until soft. Add the capsicum, bay leaves and all the garlic and cook for another 10 minutes. Add the beans and enough water to cover, then bring to a gentle simmer. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 1 hour, or until the beans are soft and almost all of the cooking liquid has evaporated. Remove and reserve the cooked garlic bulb.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in a frying pan over high heat. Add the mushrooms, sea salt flakes and black pepper and toss for 6–8 minutes, or until softened. Stir in the vinegar and cook for another 2 minutes, or until the mushrooms are slightly coloured. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley.

Squeeze the reserved cooked garlic cloves out of their skins, and add them to the beans with the mushrooms. Season to taste, then combine well and serve hot.