Carpaccio of ‘beef’ and other yummy finds…

At our wild food walks this weekend (18th and 19th September) we picked loads of wonderful yummy food. I really need to start taking more pictures of our finds to share with all of you but here are some that I did take:

A foraging stick is an indispensable tool when out foraging. Mine is a beautiful thing that I bought at a skillshare in Devon earlier this year. With a perfect hook at the end that is small enough that even the thinnest branches can be hooked. This however, was a use I hadn’t yet put it through. We spotted some Parasol mushrooms growing near a fence. Rather than climb over the fence, we pushed the stick under, grabbed the mushrooms, and pulled them out from under the fence. A couple of them were a little past it but the rest were in great condition.

We also found a couple of beefsteak fungus . The first one we found wasn’t in brilliant condition. We picked it anyway thinking we might not find another and nibbled some thin slices of it. I love beefsteak fungus. It is one of those that ID books don’t tell you must only be eaten raw. Cook it and it goes slimy and tangy – a wholly unpleasant experience. Raw on the other hand, and it tastes like a rare steak with a metallic tang and really lovely texture. We then went on to find a second one that was in much better condition and you really could taste the difference. 

We also picked some russulas, a young tawny grisette and honey fungus. I thought I had taken a better picture of our haul but apparently I didn’t.  We were too excited to cook it all up that taking photos of it was far from our minds! Ah well…Here it is anyway!

From the top left hand corner we have: Common Sorrel, Shaggy parasols, yellow swamp russulas, beefsteak fungus and honey fungus. We did also pick a large cep but it seems to be hiding in the basket. We only picked the things we were planning to use for our lunch and lots of things like watermint, watercress, pineapple-scented mayweed etc never made it into the basket.

I realised just as I had nearly finished eating that I hadn’t taken a picture of our cookup meal. So here is what was left of my carpaccio of ‘beef’ on sorrel scrambled eggs and toasted organic bread. We also had a chickweed frittata and elderberry and apple crumble that I had made at home and brought with me. The mushrooms we picked (other than the honey fungus which needs to be blanched before eating) were fried up in some butter with fresh herbs from my garden and marjoram that we’d foraged.

Muhaimina Said-Allsopp