Soften and reconstitute the dried cep mushrooms in warm water for 4 hours. Remove from the water and drain. Trim the stalks of the button mushrooms, wipe with a damp cloth and cut into quarters. Heat the extra virgin olive oil until smoking in a cast-iron pan. Add the button and cep mushrooms, garlic, thyme and shallot and sauté until golden brown. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. (Sauté the mushrooms in two batches if the pan is not large enough. It is important that the pan maintains the heat otherwise the mushrooms will release their juice and end up boiling in it, losing colour and flavour.) Drain the mushrooms and remove the garlic and thyme. When cold, chop the mushrooms very finely – almost to a purée. Adjust the seasoning if necessary.
© 2005 Liam Tomlin. All rights reserved.