Fresh ceps (Boletus edulis) are referred to as porcini (little pigs) in Italian. At around £25 per kilo, they're not cheap, but they are in season now, so if you know where to go to forage for them, then so much the better. This is one of those dishes in which Hoppy and I share our simple approach to food. If you find yourself in possession of fresh ceps, foraged or purchased, they will need very little doing to them. Simon's new book has its own little deserved section on ceps, featuring very simple and delicious recipes.
200g fresh firm ceps (more if you wish), cleaned and thickly sliced
200g waxy potatoes, cooked, peeled and sliced small
2tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
2tbsp freshly chopped parsley
A squeeze of lemon juice
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan until moderately hot (a non-stick pan is good here, to prevent occasional sticking). Throw in the ceps and potatoes, season and immediately start to toss them around in the oil, while also stirring briskly with the aid of a wooden spoon to both separate and nicely gild each component; this will take several minutes. Keeping them on a moderately brisk heat, now add the butter and garlic. Continue to fry and agitate the ceps and potatoes while the butter melts and froths, so allowing the garlic to slightly cook and colour a little. Finally, stir in the parsley and squeeze in a little lemon juice. Serve at once, tipped on to a hot serving dish.