I call this autumnal brunch meal ‘Seven Mushroom Salad’ for the very obvious reason that it uses seven types of mushroom, but don’t let this dictate the meal. If you can only get three or four varieties, then just use more of each of them – and if you can get a larger variety, then go for it. I like to serve this on grilled sourdough – a play on mushrooms on toast. A good dollop of mascarpone or ricotta put on the toast first is also delicious and works surprisingly well with the ginger and sesame oil.
Heat half the butter in a pan and add the chestnut mushrooms, garlic and thyme. Sauté over moderate heat, shaking the pan occasionally. After 2 minutes, add the soy sauce and balsamic vinegar. Cook to reduce the liquids by half, then tip the mushrooms and juices into a bowl. You can eat these mushrooms raw, so don’t worry that you’ve undercooked them.
Put the pan back on the heat and add the olive oil, then add the pied bleu, pied de mouton and shimeji mushrooms. Cook over a moderate-to-high heat and toss often until the mushrooms have softened a little but kept their shape. Tip the mushrooms into another bowl and keep warm.
Put the remaining butter and the sesame oil in the pan (don’t wipe it out first) and bring to a sizzle. Add the ginger and count to 10, then add the chanterelles and trompettes, and sauté until they begin to wilt. Stir in the hoisin sauce and put to one side.
Place 2 slices of toast on each of 4 plates and lay the chestnut mushrooms on top with their juices. Spoon over the mushrooms cooked in the olive oil, followed by the mushrooms cooked in the sesame oil. Lastly scatter the enoki over the top and eat while warm.
© 2005 Peter Gordon. All rights reserved.