A Roman Dish


This recipe is based on the oldest-known cookery book by Apicius, the Roman cookery writer; there were three men who wrote under the name Apicius from 92 BC to AD 50, all were famous gluttons.


  • 2 cups (200 g) fresh honey fungus, cleaned and chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 slices wholemeal bread made into breadcrumbs
  • 1 small tin anchovies in olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped lovage (or celery)
  • 1 clove garlic


Purée the breadcrumbs, anchovies and their oil in a blender, put to one side. Melt the butter in a shallow pan, gently sauté the mushrooms, garlic and lovage until the mushrooms are tender. Stir in the breadcrumb mixture and heat for about 2 minutes to allow the flavours to amalgamate. Serve with plain boiled fish or meat.

As an alternative to the anchovies use Chinese fish essence if you can get it.