WARM SALAD OF WILD MUSHROOMS WITH WATERCRESS AND BALSAMIC VINEGAR
1kg mixed wild mushrooms e.g. oyster, girolles, hedgehog, pied de mouton
2 slices day old white bread, crusts removed
2 cloves garlic
5 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
250g fresh watercress salt pepper
1 / Prepare the mushrooms by removing any tough stalks and cutting down into evenly sized strips.
2 / Wash the prepared mushrooms quickly in a large basin of water and drain. Leave to air dry on a wire rack for 30 minutes.
3 / Peel one of the garlic cloves and cut it in half. Add it to a pan with 2 tbsp of the olive oil and heat it to infuse.
4/ Cut the bread into 1cm squares and fry these in the olive oil on a medium heat until golden brown. Drain through a colander or sieve and dry on paper towel.
5 / Lightly season the croutons with salt and remove the garlic.
6 / Put the remaining oil into a wide based pan. Peel and dice the shallots finely and fry in the oil for 30 seconds.
7 / Add the remaining garlic, peeled and halved, to the pan and then add the mushrooms in one even layer.
8 / Season with a little salt and sauté until golden brown. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
9 / Add the balsamic vinegar to the mushrooms while still hot. Remove the garlic and allow them to cool a little.
10 / Remove and discard the watercress stalks and rinse the leaves in cold water.
11 / Toss the leaves into the lukewarm mushrooms and arrange on a plate.
12 / Top the salad with the croutons and serve.