Ceps Frits au Persil

Boletus not into temptation

Fresh Ceps

With the game season in full swing, and wild mushrooms in abundance, autumn bottles need to echo the bosky notes of both. Fruit matters, structure even more so, and the right wines for the job will have solid backbones as well as generous flavours

September is a spectacular time to visit Bordeaux. On the city’s plats du jour, wild mushrooms loom large and none casts such a seductive shadow as boletus edulis, the mighty cep. Like English asparagus, Scottish raspberries and Welsh lamb, it demands and deserves undivided attention though a six-course cep menu (including ice-cream) offered by one restaurant may be a bit de trop. The Marché des Grands Hommes has baskets of the plump, brown delights, begging to be scooped up, and the urge to take a bagful home on the plane is irresistible even though the possible outcomes are all too predictable, from instant confiscation by Her Majesty’s finest to a bag of sad, crushed and very whiffy fungi. Thankfully, the “penny bun” as it is traditionally known here, is increasingly available from serious greengrocers for those of us unable or unwilling to make dawn raids on dense woodlands. The price is breathtaking, but so is the taste. All the more reason to treat them with respect.

This simple recipe was cajoled, many years ago, from the Delon family cook after an informal, but unforgettable lunch at Château Léoville-Las-Cases. It involves resting the ceps for half an hour or so, to get rid of any excess oil they may have absorbed, and it’s hard to improve on it. Both claret and oak-tinged white Bordeaux are delicious.

Ceps Frits au Persil

Serves 3-4 people as a starter

  • 500g ceps brushed or sponged clean
    (on no account wash or rinse under the tap or they will become waterlogged)
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • A small bunch of parsley, finely chopped
  • Half a lemon
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Trim the stalks of woody or spongy bits. Leave smaller ceps whole, or cut in half lengthwise: the larger ones are best detached from their stalks. Cut the heads into thick slices, and the stalks into thickish circles. Heat the oil in a large, non-stick frying pan. Carefully lay the ceps in the pan (you may need to do two batches to avoid stewing, rather than frying them) and fry gently for about 5minutes. With a palette knife, turn each cep over and fry on the other side,again for five minutes. Lay the cooked ceps on a large plate lined with absorbent paper and leave for at least half an hour, not more than an hour. Before serving, reheat very gently in the same pan, this time without oil. At the very last moment, season liberally with sea salt crystals and a little black pepper, Garnish with the parsley and a slice of lemon for each guest to squeeze. Carefully out of the pan and serve with crusty French bread.

Ceps go beautifully with a white with a touch of barrel, or a soft, gamey red. Try this recipe as a starter with a white Pessac-Léognan such as Château Lafont-Menaut, or as a vegetarian treat with smoky notes and fleetingly earthy Fronsadais undertones of Château de Carles.

Janet Wynne Evans

Autumn 2007

Members' Comments (0)

There are no comments for this article.
Society Promise
Members before profit
Awards

Our website uses cookies with the aim of providing you with a better service. By using this website you consent to The Wine Society using cookies in accordance with our policy.

Close

4.4. Cookie Policy

By using The Wine Society website, you agree to cookies being used in accordance with the policy outlined below. If you do not agree to this, you must alter your browser settings to turn off cookies or block those types which are unacceptable to you or cease using the website.

The Wine Society uses cookies to enable easy navigation and shopping on the website. We take the privacy of all who use our website very seriously and ensure that our use of cookies complies with current EU legislation. The following guide outlines what cookies are, the types of cookies used on The Society's website and how they work.

You may alter your browser settings to turn off cookies or block those types which are unacceptable to you, but this will cause difficulties when accessing and using some areas of the site. Instructions on how to do this can also be found below.

4.4.1. What are 'Cookies'?

  • Most major websites use cookies.
  • A cookie is a very small data file placed on your hard drive by a web page server. It is essentially your access card, and cannot be executed as code or deliver viruses. It is uniquely yours and can only be read by the server that gave it to you.
  • Cookies cannot be used by themselves to identify you.
  • The purpose of a basic cookie is to tell the server that you returned to that web page or have items in your basket. Without cookies, websites and their servers have no memory. A cookie, like a key, enables swift passage from one place to the next.
  • Without a cookie every time you open a new web page the server where that page is stored will treat you like a completely new visitor.
  • More recently, cookies have also been used to collect information about the user which allows a profile of their preferences and interests to be created so that they can be served with interest-based rather than generic information about available goods and services.

4.4.2. How do Cookies help The Wine Society?

Cookies allow our website to function effectively. Cookies also help us to arrange content to match your preferred interests more quickly. We can learn what information is important to our visitors, and what isn't.

4.4.3. How does The Wine Society use cookies?

The Wine Society does not accept advertising from third parties and therefore, as a rule, does not serve third-party cookies. Exceptions to this include performance/analytical cookies (see below), used anonymously to improve the way our website works, the provision of personalised recommendations, and occasions when we may team up with suppliers to offer special discounts on goods or services.

The Society uses technology to track the patterns of behaviour of visitors to our site.

4.4.4. What type of cookies does The Wine Society use?

We use the following three types of cookies:

4.4.4.1. Strictly Necessary Cookies
These cookies are required for the operation of our website, enabling you to move around the website and use its features, such as accessing secure areas of the website. Without these cookies, services like shopping baskets or e-billing cannot be provided. Under this heading, we currently use the following cookies:

  • Authentication Cookie and Anonymous Cookie
    These cookies remember that you are logged in to your account – without them, the website would repeatedly request your login details with each new page you visit during your time on our website. They are removed once your session has ended.
  • Session Cookie
    These cookies are used to remember who you are as you use our site: without them, the website would be unable to tell the difference between you and another Wine Society member and facilities such as your basket and the checkout process would therefore not be able to function. They too are removed once your session has ended.

4.4.4.2. Functionality & Targeting/Tracking Cookies
These cookies are used to recognise you when you return to our website and to provide enhanced features. This allows us to personalise our content for you. Under this heading, we currently use the following cookies:

  • Unique User Cookie
    This cookie is used to:
    • store your share number in order to identify that you have visited the website before. Without this cookie, we would be unable to tell whether you are a member or not.
    • record your visit to the website, the pages you have visited and the links you have followed. We use this information to make our website, the content displayed on it and direct marketing communications we may send to you or contact you about more relevant to your interests.
    • This cookie expires after 13 months.
  • Peerius Cookies
    These third-party cookies are used to provide you with personalised recommendations based on your purchase and browsing history. They expire within 4 hours of your visit.

4.4.4.3. Performance/analytical cookies
These cookies collect information about how visitors use a website, for instance which pages visitors go to most often, and if they get error messages from web pages. These cookies don't collect information which identifies a visitor. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. It is only used to improve how a website works. Under this heading, we currently use the following cookies:

  • Google Analytics Cookies
    These are third-party cookies to enable Google Analytics to monitor website traffic. All information is recorded anonymously. Using Google Analytics allows The Society to better understand how members use our site and monitor website traffic.

4.4.4.4. Authentication Cookie
In order for us to ensure that your data remains secure it is necessary for us to verify that your session is authentic (i.e. it has not been compromised by a malicious user). We do this by storing an otherwise meaningless unique ID in a cookie for the duration of your visit. No personal information can be gained from this cookie.

4.4.5. How do you turn cookies off?

All modern browsers allow you to modify your cookie settings so that all cookies, or those types which are not acceptable to you, are blocked. However, please note that this may affect the successful functioning of the site, particularly if you block all cookies, including essential cookies. For example, In Internet Explorer, go to the Tools Menu, then go to Internet Options, then go to Privacy. Here you can change the rules your browser uses to accept cookies. You can find out more in the public sources mentioned below.

4.4.6. Learn more about cookies

4.4.7. Changes to our cookie policy

Any changes we may make to our cookie policy in the future will be posted on the website and, where appropriate, notified to you by email. Please check back frequently to see any updates and changes to our cookie policy.

 

Have a question?Live Chat

Live Chat