Though the patch in Kintore woods wasn’t quite as prolific as last year, there were still far more chanterelles growing in damp little clumps than I could have shaken a stick at (had I felt the need to wobble some wood at fungi). In the end I settled for a mere basketful for I did, after all, have to painstakingly clean each one of the dirty little buggers when I got home.
Much brushing and trimming and wine later I was faced with a large pile of bug/mud free mushrooms and immediately began to fantasize about a creamy chicken and chanterelle pie. A rather wintery dish for August but it was raining hard outside so stodge didn’t seem too unreasonable. Alas, there was no chicken in my fridge and the thought of a driech drive to the shops was not at all appealling. Instead, I started to think about alternatives and remembered a cauliflower and mushroom pie I’d read about in Veganomicon.
A tweak here (different herbs, different mushrooms), a substitution there (cow’s milk rather than soya; puff pastry rather than biscuity crust) and I had an absolutely delicious pie. So good, in fact, I don’t see me making the chicken version for some time.
Cauliflower and Chanterelle Pie
600ml bechamel sauce (butter, flour, milk, bay and nutmeg – recipe/instructions here)
1/2 tspn dried oregano
1/2 tspn dried thyme
1 tspn Dijon mustard
1 tblspn oil
1 leek, chopped
2 handfuls of chanterelles
1 tspn white wine vinegar
1/2 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
Puff pastry (I used ready-made & rolled)
- Firstly, make your bechamel sauce and add the dried herbs and mustard to it. Simmer for 10 minutes to let flavours combine, season and set aside.
- In a different pan, fry the leek gently for 5 minutes until softened. Add the chanterelles and vinegar cook for another 5 minutes until the juices have been released.
- Add the cauliflower florets and stir well. Cover and let cook for 15 minutes until the cauliflower has just softened (you may need to add a teeny bit of water to stop the veg from sticking to the pan).
- Mix the herby sauce with the vegetables and pour into an oven proof dish.
- Cover with puff pastry and brush with beaten egg.
- Bake in a 190oC oven until the pastry is golden and puffy.
- Dig in.