St George’s mushrooms with asparagus, ribwort plantain, mushroom jelly and apple jelly
Bunch of asparagus
20 small ribwort plantain ﬂower heads
1tsp mint leaves, preferably spearmint
12-16 summer purslane leaves or other salad leaves
Fine sea salt
For the mushroom jelly:
250g St George’s mushrooms
Pinch of salt
½tsp agar agar powder
For the apple jelly:
250g apple juice
½tsp agar agar powder
First make the mushroom jelly. Remove the stalks from the mushrooms and set the caps aside. Clean the stalks thoroughly and then chop ﬁnely. Put them in a pan, cover with 250ml water and simmer for 15 minutes. Strain the cooking liquor through a ﬁne sieve into a clean pan, pressing with the back of a spoon to extract it all. Discard the stalks. Measure the cooking liquor and add a dash more water if necessary to take it back up to 250ml. Season with salt – in this instance, a little goes a long way. Return the pan to the heat and stir in the agar agar until dissolved. Bring to the boil brieﬂy to hydrate the agar and activate its gelling properties. Pour into a small plastic box. We use one that gives a ﬁnal depth of about one centimetre so we can cut the jelly into cubes, but feel free to experiment. Leave to cool, then place in the fridge until set. It will keep for four days.
For the apple jelly, heat the juice in a pan, stir in the agar agar and bring to the boil until dissolved. Leave to cool and then set in a plastic box as described above.
To trim the asparagus, ﬁnd the natural point where the stalk snaps, close to the base, and break it off. Have a pan of fast-boiling salted water ready and a bowl of iced water too. Cook the asparagus in the rapidly boiling water for up to two minutes, but no more. Remove the spears and chill them in the iced water; they will retain their bright green colour.
Finely slice the reserved mushroom caps and lay them on four plates. Dust with ﬁne sea salt. Lay the asparagus spears on top of the mushrooms. Cut the jelly into small cubes and add a teaspoon of each ﬂavour to each plate, along with the ribwort ﬂowers, mint leaves and purslane. Encouragement for all amateur mycologists!Reuse content