Chanterelle Pesto and Forest Bathing
Bathing in a pool, the ocean or just your tub at home are all nice, but if you’re not forest bathing you’re apparently missing out. What the hell is forest bathing?, you ask. If you have completely missed the hip Japanese therapy trend, forest bathing or shinrin-yoku as the method is called in japanese, we’ll give a quick crash-course. And don’t worry, it doesn’t involve dancing naked in the woods and yes, there will be food from the forest at the end of this post!
The goal of shinrin-yoku is for you to take in the calm and tranquil forest atmosphere with all your senses, preferably during a quiet walk in silence. The phenomenon arose as a recoil from the stressed Japanese society. Since the 1980’s, when the first organized forest baths were offered, it has become an increasingly appreciated method of self-care. The authorities in Japan have even dubbed some forest to special therapy forests which serve as therapeutic centers for all who wish to partake in this activity.
Although dedicated therapy forests sound lovely, any forest will do. So put on you hiking shoes and skip the headphones. Find a path and let your senses unwind as you wander around in a tranquil forest. With a bit of luck on your side (and some basic mushroom knowledge) you might just be distractionless enough to notice a few golden treats at time of year, waiting to be plucked and turned into this delectable Chanterelle pesto!
This Chanterelle pesto is great served on a piece of toast (bread recipe here), as a starter or even a cosy fall Sunday brunch.
(4 large portions)
1 cup roughly chopped chanterelles
4 crushed garlic cloves
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts (walnuts work nice here too)
1/4 cup olive oil + little extra for frying
2-3 tbsp nutritional yeast
Salt and pepper
Handful of fresh parsley
Toss the mushrooms and garlic in a fry pan with a little bit of oil. Fry on medium heat until they start to golden slightly.
Combine the mushrooms, pine nuts, yeast and oil into a food processor and pulse several times. Season with salt and pepper, add some parsley and adjust the oil if the consistency is too thick. Pulse a few more times.
Fry bread slices in olive oil and top with flake salt. Server a dollop of chanterelle pesto on top of the toast as a cozy fall starter or indulgent lunch/brunch!