Roasted apricot ham and girolle mushrooms, on venere rice with truffle aioli

The main meal of the Seasonal Dinner Parties’ Summer Mushrooms Menu Plan, this ham and girolle or shimeji and girolle mushroom rice dish uses venere rice, which is deliciously nutty and chewy, and complements the textured mushrooms perfectly. It’s great to make if you have vegetarians coming for dinner or are vegetarian yourself (and don’t mind minimal meat handling), as everything is prepared and cooked in compartments, and put together at the end.  

Serves 6

  • 1kg unsmoked gammon or ham or 1 punnet of brown shimeji (for veggies serves 2)
  • 300ml white wine
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 5 apricots, quartered
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 175ml rapeseed oil
  • 1 tbsp truffle oil
  • ½ lemon
  • 3kg venere rice
  • 1 tbsp whiskey
  • 350g girolles
  • 200g nastrusum leaves and flowers
  • 1 punnet wasabi flowers
  • black pepper


Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas 5 and place the ham on a roasting tray, and add the wine. Top the ham with 2 of the apricots and drizzle over 1 tbsp of the honey. Season with black pepper. Roast for 2 hours. Add all but 1 of the garlic cloves to the pan. Coat with the remaining honey and roast for 45 mins at 180°C/gas 4. Rest for 20 mins, then rip apart with forks and keep warm.
IMG_7069In the meantime, to make the aioli, crush half of the remaining garlic clove. Whisk the egg yolks in a jug with an electric whisk for 3 mins, until creamy. Slowly drizzle in 160ml of the rapeseed oil and then the truffle oil, whisking as you go. Whisk in the garlic, then add a squeeze of lemon juice and season. Whisk again, then cover and chill until needed.

In a saucepan, cover the rice with cold water and simmer for 20 mins. Drain and refresh in boiling water, then coat with the whiskey and the remaining lemon juice. Place the girolles and shimeji (if you are cooking for vegetarians too) on an oven tray. If you are cooking for vegetarians, you can also save some of the garlic cloves to roast here, rather than with the ham, to make them veggie friendly. Drizzle lightly with the oil and season with pepper, then roast for 15 mins.

In a large bowl, mix together the rice, leaves and flowers and girolles, and divide between six plates, then top with either the ham or brown shimeji. Drizzle with aioli and serve.