Brunch always feels like a bit of a luxury, and something we might rarely take the time to make ourselves at home. We are still a few weeks away from being able to meet in cafes again, so this is the perfect time to treat yourself to a delicious at-home brunch. The Scottish Brunch Bible by Ghillie Başan, featuring Scottish ingredients in traditional recipes as well as inventive combinations, will be published next Thursday. Today’s recipe is fried eggs and chanterelles on polenta wedges, a fresh and filling brunch perfect for spring.
Fried eggs and chanterelles on polenta wedges
This brunch dish is a tasty way to showcase pretty orange chanterelles and their delicate apricot flavour when in season, but you could easily substitute them with other wild mushrooms such as porcini or birch boletus, or with shop-bought chestnut mushrooms.
For the polenta:
400ml (14fl oz) milk
400ml (14fl oz) water
A few black peppercorns
1 small onion, halved
A sprig of thyme
150g (5oz) quick-cook polenta
30g (1oz) butter
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil, for frying
For the chanterelles and eggs:
1–2 tablespoons olive or rapeseed oil
1 plump clove of garlic, finely chopped
2–3 handfuls fresh chanterelles, or other wild or cultivated
½ a lemon
Freshly ground black pepper
Fresh thyme leaves
1 lemon, cut into quarters, for squeezing
First prepare the polenta. Pour the milk and water into a saucepan, add the peppercorns, onion and thyme and
bring to scalding point. Turn off the heat and leave to infuse for 20 minutes.
Strain the infused liquid into a clean saucepan and bring it back to scalding point. Reduce the heat to simmer and add the polenta in a thin stream, stirring all the time until smooth. Simmer gently for 4–5 minutes then remove it from the heat. Beat in the butter, season well and tip the polenta onto a cool surface – a marble slab or a wide dish or plate – and smooth it into an even disc or rectangle and leave to cool. When cold cut the polenta into 4 wedges or thick fingers.
Heat the olive oil in a pan and fry the polenta wedges for 2-3 minutes on each side until they form a golden-brown crust. Keep warm while you fry the mushrooms and eggs.
Drizzle a little oil into a pan and toss in the garlic until it begins to colour. Toss in the chanterelles and sauté over a medium to high heat, tipping the pan if there is too much water seeping from the fungi, and keep tossing until the pan is almost dry and the chanterelles are lightly browned. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
Drizzle some more oil into a pan and fry the eggs how you like them. Place each polenta wedge on a plate, top each one with a fried egg and spoon the chanterelles over them. Garnish with the thyme leaves and Parmesan shavings and serve with the lemon wedges.