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Riberac market

So here it is, I’ve finally reached the final instalment of our June trip to the Dordogne.  If you’ve just arrived and would like to read from the beginning, click here for all the posts and just work from part 1 onwards.

It wouldn’t have been right if we didn’t start our last day in the Dordogne with a visit to a market, after all we had been to a market every single day so far. In our sights was the market at Riberac, and we weren’t disappointed.  It was large and bustling, full of food producers and artists, as well as cheap T-shirts and bargain items.

Riberac market

There were a lot of English people here, I even spotted a hessian shopping bag from our local grocery in Manchester where I shop every week – now that was odd.  We came across our friendly gite owner Louise selling her goat’s cheese, not that I seem to have taken a picture of her stall.

Look at those mushrooms – and every mushroom stall in the Dordogne seemed to be decorated with ferns.

French wild mushrooms

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Last week I went to the fishmongers to pick up some fish for tea.  I was thinking along the lines of simple baked fish with crushed new potatoes maybe with some softened spring onions mixed through. 

There were both gorgeous red fleshed new potatoes and spring onions at Unicorn so this has steered my thoughts.  On entering the fishmongers there in the chiller was a box of golden mushrooms.  Wild Scottish girolle mushrooms to be exact.

It was one of those moments where you know instantly that you will be eating them for tea.  So I carefully picked out enough for myself and Mr Rigg.  I also bought a piece of Grouper – never tried it before, looked like a good chunky white fish so I thought I’d give it a go.

The fish was really tasty, with quite a strong flavour.  The mushrooms pan fried in hot butter were incredibly moreish.  And the crushed potatoes with spring onions – it’s the sort of food you could eat straight from the pan (and do when no one else is looking!).

Wild girolle mushrooms, baked fish and crushed potatoes with spring onions

Feeds 2

2 pieces of Grouper (or other white fish)
150g wild girolle mushrooms
New potatoes for 2
2 cloves of garlic
4 spring onions
Lots of butter
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to about 180°C.

Rub the fish in olive oil, place on a baking tray and season with salt and pepper.  Cook in the oven for about 15-20 minutes or until done.

Whilst the fish is cooking, boil the new potatoes in plenty of salted water.

Clean the mushrooms (I used a pastry brush to remove any grit) and tear up any large ones.  In a frying pan heat a generous knob of butter with a splash of olive oil.  Add the mushrooms and fry on a high heat until golden.

Finely chop the garlic and slice the spring onions.

Drain the potatoes.  Put the empty potato pan back on the heat and add some butter.  Add the garlic and spring onions to the butter and cook until softened – don’t let them burn!

Once they spring onions have softened, return the potatoes to the pan and crush them up with the back of a wooden spoon –  you’re not aiming for mash potato, but crushing the potatoes allows all the lovely butter and seasonings to work their way into the hot potato flesh.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

And you’re done – just simply put it all on a plate and eat! 

I can’t believe that just a month ago the weather was mild, the leaves were golden and crisp, and we were out in a city park hunting for mushrooms.  Led by local forager and medical herbalist Jesper Launder(, a group of us were diving into bushes (much to the amusement of dog walkers and families out for a walk) and grubbing about in the undergrowth, all for the love of edible wild mushrooms. 

I find that once I get my eyes tuned in, as it were, to seeing mushrooms then I see them everywhere.  But I wasn’t having any luck this particular weekend.  Waist-deep in brambles, surrounded by knee-high nettles, looking in all the inhospitable, unreachable spots that I thought a mushroom would just love to grow in…but nothing.  As a fairly competitive person, I was a bit miffed at other people’s finds, even if they were often inedible. 

Then I came across this…yes, the big white mushroom in the middle. 

my big white mushroom :: Manchester ::

I finally got my mushroom-vision sorted, and they just started popping up everywhere.  I seem to have a knack for finding hidden treasures on the ground, my mother always told me off for picking up ‘rubbish’ from the floor (although once it was a £20!).  Anyway, the ‘big white mushroom in the middle’ is an Asphalt Mushroom, similar to the cultivated mushrooms we find at the supermarket, and so-called because it is often found pushing through tarmac in the most mundane areas of urban sprawl.   Mine (I was very protective of it) was found half buried in soil, hence its rather grubby appearance, and I had to excavate around it in order to remove it.

wild mushrooms :: Manchester ::

As you can see we ended our walk with a couple of basketfuls of some fantastic wild mushrooms – including some Shaggy Ink Caps (which N found) and were delicious fried in butter until golden and crisping round the edges.

What I love about Jesper’s mushroom walk (it’s not the first we’ve been on) is at the end, he sets up some burners and cooks up all the edible mushrooms we’ve foraged with a lot (a lot!) of butter and we all get to taste them.  It’s always a delight to see kids eating things you’re sure under different circumstances they’d turned their nose up at.  But as the most avid hunters and foragers, they forget and just want their share of the prize.

cooking the wild mushrooms :: Manchester ::

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Eat the Earth

I love food, especially locally grown and seasonal food. This is my place to share my food finds and the food I like to eat.

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