Sunday, December 04, 2011

fungus with dinner

in situ
mushrooms in the wild. under the trees along our driveway. i spotted these as we were leaving to go walking. amazingly enough i remembered them when we returned and picked them.
in bowl
these are boletes, a family of mushrooms easily identified by the sponge-like under side. probably slippery jack (Suillus brevipes). the slimy skin on the cap is removed before cooking. how do i dare eat mushrooms right out of the ground? you will notice that the underside does not look like a mushroom from the store, which has thin radiating membranes called gills. all boletes have a sponge underside and only the ones with red sponge are poisonous. some of the non-poisonous boletes are better than others for eating, but the worst is only bad tasting, not dangerous. so i dare.

in another bowl
i peeled the slimy skin off the caps, leaving a nice white fleshed cap with pale yellow sponge which i sliced into quarter inch thick pieces. i sauteed them in butter, olive oil, and garlic. they gave off quite a bit of liquid, visible in the bowl above. it was full when served but i forgot to take a picture till after i had eaten some directly and put some in my bowl of chicken soup. they had a very nice mild mushroom taste but were a bit too squishy. next time i'll cook all the liquid out, as recommended by my main mushroom reference.

All That the Rain Promises and More David Arora


  1. That looks delicious. Living off the land. A dream come true.

  2. they look beautiful. I know you exercise caution mixed with research and knowledge when you harvest wild mushrooms.

    Bon Apetit!

  3. Wow, how lovely it is to be just picking mushrooms in the wild. Here, we have lots of mushrooms but only 2 species we are familiar to eat, the Volvariela spp from the decaying banana trunks and another i don't know the name but found directly from the soil. We just learned it from the old folks. They are better than those oyster mushrooms in the supermarket.

  4. We pick and eat Morels when we can find them. And a lot of folks around here eat a fungus called "chicken of the woods," also called "sulfur shelf" although I don't know its real name. Both of these are easy to identify and I love Morels. The sulfur shelf not so much especially since it can be poisonous if the dead log upon which it is growing is hemlock.

    I don't think I have ever seen a mushroom with slimy skin.

  5. So far I have only tried Morels and Puffballs. Caution seems to be in order with mushrooms.

  6. I am so behind. What a wonderful post. I *love* mushrooms. I've had puffballs, inky caps, and oyster mushrooms. I once found some morels, but they were just past okay. Bummer. I've also collected and eaten a fungus and a mushroom that grew on specific trees at particular times of year. But you guys know how to make a feast from anything. Your post makes me hungry, and I just ate!