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Penny Buns with Garlic Mash and Sorrel Gremolata

VegetarianGluten Free

If you’re lucky enough to find some prized penny buns, this simple but elegant supper showcases them beautifully – but you could use any good-flavoured, firm mushrooms. Velvety, garlic-scented mash makes the perfect accompaniment, topped with a fragrant, bright-flavoured mix of finely chopped herbs and garlic. A traditional gremolata would use lemon zest, but this takes advantage of the subtler citrus notes of fresh sorrel.

Serves : 2
Prep : 10 minutes
Cook : 25 minutes
  • 600g potatoes, Desirée or King Edwards for preference
  • 150g penny buns
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 25g butter, plus extra for greasing
  • Approx 100ml warm milk
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium-sized sorrel leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley


  1. Peel the potatoes and cut into large chunks. Put them in a pan and cover with water. Peel 2 of the cloves of garlic and slice them in half, and add them to the pan with ½ teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20 minutes until the potatoes are tender.
  2. Meanwhile, brush any loose dirt off the penny buns and clean them carefully using dampened kitchen paper. Slice them them thickly and set aside.
  3. When the potatoes are cooked, reserve a cupful of the cooking water, then drain them thoroughly. Let them steam in the pan with a tea towel over the top while you prepare a bain-marie – set a heatproof bowl over a pan of water (the bowl should not touch the water) and bring the water up to a simmer. Butter a piece of foil large enough to cover the bowl and set aside.
  4. Now prepare the mash. For best results, use an electric mixer (not a food processor, which will turn them to glue). First, break up the potatoes and garlic roughly with a masher or large fork. Add the butter and let it melt, then go in with the mixer on a medium speed and whip the potatoes. Slowly pour in a little milk as you beat, little by little until you have a soft, smooth purée. If you use all of the milk, add a little of the reserved cooking water. Taste the mash for seasoning, then put it into the bain-marie and cover with the buttered foil.
  5. Now to cook the mushrooms. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan on a medium high heat. When the oil is hot, add the sliced penny buns in a single layer and let them fry without disturbing them for around 5 minutes, until they are golden. Turn them and cook on the other side. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Peel and chop the remaining clove of garlic very finely, and when the mushrooms are done, push them to the sides, taking care not to break them. Pour another tablespoon of oil into the centre of the pan, and throw in the chopped garlic. As soon as it starts to sizzle, throw in the chopped parsley. This is will splutter a little, but let it fry for a moment or two, then take the pan off the heat.
  7. Divide the mash between two warmed plates and top with the penny buns. Scatter over the fried parsley and garlic, and the sorrel. Drizzle each serving with a tablespoon of olive oil and serve.


Recipe and photos by Otherwise for Wild Food UK


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