Currently there are over 10,000 known types of mushrooms. That may seem like a large number, but mycologists suspect that this is only a fraction of what’s out there! We can put these various species in one of 4 categories, namely saprotrophic (shiitake, white button, oyster), mycorrhizal (porcini, matsutake, Caesar’s mushroom), parasitic (honey fungus, caterpillar fungus, lion’s mane) and endophytic (much is still unknown about this category).
This is the second in our series of recipes (with suggested wine pairings) from The South African Mushroom Farmers’ Association (www.mushroominfo.co.za).
Barley & Mushroom Salad
1 cup pearl barley
500g portabellini mushrooms, sliced
1 garlic clove, finely grated
2 shallots, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp thyme leaves
1 cup fresh coriander, roughly chopped
1 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Cook barley in a pot of boiling salted water until tender. Drain; spread out on a clean tray and allow to cool.
Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high. Cook mushrooms until golden brown all over. Season mushrooms with salt and pepper. Add garlic, shallots, butter and thyme and cook until just tender and fragrant.
In a large bowl, toss cooled barley with cooked mushroom mixture. Fold in coriander, parsley, lemon juice and taste for seasoning.
Arrange endive leaves on a large platter or in individual bowls. Spoon over the herby mushroom and barley mix and serve.
This salad begs for a well-rounded sauvignon blanc with a creamy texture, like Klein Constantia’s. Bursting with flavours of citrus and passion fruit, it finishes fresh and vibrant with lingering acidity while retaining its full body. The brightness cuts through the buttery mushrooms and barley making it a perfect companion for this umami rich salad.