Asparagus, Mushroom & Wild Green Ceviche with Cashew Aioli

| 17 March 2017

Sometimes it just happens, that we come across some wildly wonderful ingredients.. The other week we got hold of amazing and unusual mushrooms, new season English asparagus and wild ‘monks beard’ at our favourite Seasons shop in Forest Row. With three superb and seasonal ingredients on hand, we had to make something special to show off the flavour, while retaining the sublime freshness and vitality of the produce.

A light marinade of beautiful, seasonal produce (or Ceviche) is one of our favourite ways to really show off the natural flavours without processing the produce too much. Traditionally made in Peru using fresh fish, the architecture of the dish lends itself to infinite fruitful plant-based experiments. That is exactly what we are doing here.

This recipe works well as a starter, a side dish to a salad or some yummy grain, or an irresistible sharing platter on a big table.  It makes us dream of the wilderness.. forests and the great outdoors.. And what’s even better.. it could, essentially, be assembled anywhere – (think camping or picnicking outdoors, or sitting in a forest hut and eating this!:)

Ingredients 

(serves 2)

A couple of big handfuls of (preferably wild) mushrooms: we used Shimeji, Nameko & Shiitake Mushrooms, but this would work equally well with just shiitake, oyster and/or some dried rehydrated Girolles.

1 carrot

1 clove of garlic

1/2 shallot

one handful of wild greens such as samphire, wild garlic, (we used monks beard) (optional)

a punnet of asparagus

a small handful of coriander leaves

2 TBLS of rice vinegar

4 TBLS of olive oil

2 tsp of mirin (optional)

1 TBLS of maple syrup, date syrup or other natural fruit-based sweetener

juice of 1 lemon

1 TBLS of dried ceps (porcini) powder (optional)

generous pinch of unprocessed sea salt

pinch of freshly cracked black pepper

small pinch of saffron (optional)

For aioli

1/2 cup of soaked cashews

1/2 juice of a lemon

pinch of unprocessed sea salt

1 TBLS ceps powder or other mushroom powder

2 TBLS olive oil

Method

Start by cutting fresh mushrooms into thin, bite-size pieces, removing any hard stalks. Add crushed garlic, finely chopped shallot and carrot. Mix in lemon juice, natural liquid sweetener, rice vinegar, salt, pepper, ceps powder and saffron (if you are using it). Finally, add plucked coriander leaves (we added them whole).  Let it sit and marinate for at least 10-15 mins.

Prepare the asparagus by washing and removing the bottom part of the stalk. Cut lengthways into halves or quarters. Then you can choose to either steam it, grill it for a minute together with the wild greens of your choice, or just add them raw to the mushroom mix.

To make aioli, add cashews, lemon juice, sea salt, ceps powder, olive oil to the blender with 3-5 TBS of water and blend till smooth.

Serve on a shallow plate, with dollops of aioli scattered around and an optional sprinkle of seaweed flakes.

With Celebration & Appreciation,

Joel & Aiste xx