Every so often you come across a great little recipe than does wonders for almost any wine you pair with it. And so it is with mushroom ‘caviar’, a regular offering from the takeaway section of my favourite local restaurant Culinaria. Basically it’s a mushroom pâté but so reduced and wickedly intense it’s like pure essence of mushroom. Except for the perfect counterpoint - a tiny touch of tarragon.
I asked the chef, Stephen Markwick, how he made it and he said (airily, as chefs do) - “Oh, you just chop up mushrooms in a robot-coupe and cook them with butter, tarragon, crème fraîche and a squeeze of lemon” Nothing else? Well, yes, onion it transpired. And I suspect, having attempted to follow his instructions, a fair amount of olive oil which accounts for the silky spreadable texture. I’ve sent my version of the recipe off to Stephen to check against his version and as soon as I have his comments back I’ll post it on the site.
But in the meantime I can tell you that it - or any similarly mushroomy spread - is a cracking match for a quality sparkling wine like the Roederer Quartet* from the Anderson Valley in California we were drinking over the weekend which is currently on sale at Majestic for £13.33 if you buy 2 or more bottles. Or for a ripe, forward Pinot Noir. Or for a subtly oaked Chardonnay. Or a French Syrah. Or a Languedoc red. I can see I’m going to be making a lot of it this summer. If I can get the recipe . . .
* On sale in the US as Roederer Estate brut.
Image © kazoka303030 - Fotolia>