St. George’s mushroom on toast wild garlic pesto

Since May, the lockdown rules in England have started to ease and we’re finally allowed to travel and visit friends and family. Excitingly, we went to the Peak District for a 4-day mountain training hike a couple of weeks ago.

During the hike, we found an abundance amount of St. George’s mushrooms right by a public footpath – what a jackpot! Of course we ended up picking some; we cooked half over our campfire in the mountains, and brought the other half back to London.

St. George’s mushroom is a super delicious, meaty mushroom that fruits in the springtime. It gets its namesake from St. George’s day (23rd April) as it’s around this time that it comes into season (late April until early June). There aren’t many mushrooms during this period so you can’t mistake St. George!

When it’s raw, St. George smells like watermelon or cucumber (odd for a mushroom, right?), and this smell starts to fade during cooking. It’s a very easy mushroom to identify because of its fruiting season and unique aroma. It can usually be found in grasslands, beside woodland, lawns and on roadsides, usually growing in rings.

I made pesto on toast with kale and mushrooms a while ago, and I think it would be fun to recreate this recipe with wild food ingredients.

K33Kitchen st georges mushroom toast wild garlic pesto

For this recipe, we need St. George’s mushrooms and wild garlic pesto. If you’re not familiar with foraging, you may also find both ingredients from a gourmet vegetable shop or a farmer’s market during the springtime, but if not, you can replace them with regular chestnut mushrooms and vegan basil pesto too.

For more identification information, including how and where to find it, please click on these links provided: St. George’s mushroomwild garlic.

Before you go out and pick your own wild food, I also recommend you read my article all about the 7 rules for foraging. Please always remember to pick responsibly and leave the place as you found it.

K33Kitchen st georges mushroom toast wild garlic pesto

I love the flavour combination of thyme and mushrooms… as I grow a lot of my own herbs on my window sill I picked a couple of fresh thyme sprigs but you can also replace this with just a pinch of dried thyme.

K33Kitchen st georges mushroom toast wild garlic pesto

Heat a tablespoon of vegan butter in a large, non-stick frying pan, add the minced garlic and fry until golden.

Add the sliced mushrooms and fresh thyme, stir-fry on medium heat for 4-5 minutes.

Season the mushrooms with salt, pepper, and the balsamic vinegar. Mix well and cook for another 3-4 minutes until most of the sauce has evaporated. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

K33Kitchen st georges mushroom toast wild garlic pesto

Spread the pesto sauce evenly over each piece of toast.

K33Kitchen st georges mushroom toast wild garlic pesto

Top with the cooked mushrooms and drizzle over a little more pesto, serve while warm.

K33Kitchen st georges mushroom toast wild garlic pesto

Sorry, this recipe has probably been published a little too late because both St. George’s mushrooms and wild garlic season are now over. It’s very unlikely that you’ll still be able to find them unless you live in the north. However, hopefully some of you will come across this recipe next spring.

If you have managed to find some St. George’s mushrooms, I hope you enjoy this recipe – delicious wild mushrooms on toast with homemade wild garlic pesto, a great lunch or brunch dish full of the wonderful flavours of spring.

Let me know if you try out this recipe. You can leave a comment below, or take a picture and tag it with #k33_kitchen and share it on Instagram! I’d love to see what you come up with. Cheers, hope you enjoy my recipes!

K33Kitchen st georges mushroom toast wild garlic pesto

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Difficulty: Easy

Serves: 2

Prep.: 5 mins | Cook: 15 mins

Ingredients:
  • 200g St George’s mushrooms, sliced*
  • 4 slices of sourdough, toasted
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves only (or a pinch of dried thyme)
  • 4 tsp wild garlic pesto**
  • 1 tbsp vegan butter
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Pinch of black pepper
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Instructions:
  1. Heat a tablespoon of vegan butter in a large, non-stick frying pan, add the minced garlic and fry until golden.
  2. Add the sliced mushrooms and fresh thyme, stir-fry on medium heat for 4-5 minutes.
  3. Season the mushrooms with salt, pepper and balsamic vinegar. Mix well and cook for another 3-4 minutes until most of the sauce has evaporated. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
  4. Spread the pesto sauce evenly over each piece of toast.
  5. Top with the cooked mushrooms and drizzle over a little more pesto, serve while warm.

* You can replace it with chestnut or oyster mushrooms.

** You can replace it with regular vegan basil pesto.

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