Friday, June 13, 2014

Halibut with Porcini and Nettle-Mint Sauce

The king bolete (aka porcino) is one of the few wild mushrooms that can be served raw, in limited quantities. Fresh porcini, both spring and fall, have a strong floral aroma. Make use of this arresting feature by thinly slicing or even shaving the mushroom over foods. Firm #1 buttons are best.

This recipe was inspired by a dish I had earlier this spring at the Willows Inn, where chef Blaine Wetzel  is earning plaudits for good reason. At the Willows I had a course of spring porcini stewed with asparagus and woodruff. My server shaved mounds of fresh porcini over the plate to the point of obscuring everything else underneath. The cooked mushrooms were contrasted by the snappy texture and floral sharpness of the fresh.

For my take, I oven-roasted halibut fillets and plated them with sautéed spring porcini mushrooms and a nettle-mint sauce. The sauce was quick and easy because I already had cubes of nettle pesto in the freezer. To make the sauce I sweated diced shallot in butter, added three cubes of defrosted nettle pesto, and stirred together with a generous splash of chicken stock and a tablespoon of chopped mint from the garden. The sauce was finished with heavy cream.

Once plated, I shaved a nice spring porcini button over the top.

Given the sort of spring mushroom season we're having in the Pacific Northwest (worst in memory), this might be my last dance with the king until fall.


Ingunn said...

Thank you for confirming what I thought about this mushroom season so I don't just feel useless and blind (failing fung-eyes). I found a measly total of seven morels this year, and three of them were in my yard. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I hope we get another really soggy September so we can get a repeat of last fall.

Devon said...

Your picture of the mushroom growing outside was my favorite. We often need to be reminded that food isn't born wrapped in plastic. That is the beauty of this blog

Erin Anais Hanson said...

Yummy! I've got some devil's club pesto in the freezer that I'll have to try this with!

Love your blog!

Ingunn said...

Commenting again to say thank you for an excellent foraging class today - it was very inspiring, and we're looking forward to delving into fiddleheads and nettles next year (not to mention experimenting with the Charmin qualities of thimbleberry leaves).