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A GUIDE TO… WILD MUSHROOMS #2

Last week we warned of the dangers of foraging for wild mushrooms and provided a guide that listed the mushrooms not to eat and to take special care to watch out for. This week we return to the humble mushroom, but with a more positive compilation of wild mushrooms you can eat, where to find them, and what to do with them once you’ve got them.

There are loads of different types of edible mushroom out there; here are some of Come Scavenge’s favourites…

1.       FIELD MUSHROOMS

Picture: http://bit.ly/HlfD9t7

The Field Mushroom, Agaricus campestris, is the most commonly eaten wild mushroom in Britain. It is best cooked within hours of collecting; it can be dried but then loses much of its flavour. It is commonly found in fields and grassy areas and is found in small groups or alone. This mushroom is not commercially cultivated because of its fast maturing and short shelf life, so go out and forage for it!

Here are some of Come Scavenge’s favourite Field Mushroom recipes:

Creamy mushroom Ragout with nutmeg mash: http://bbc.in/HoiVOM

Devilled mushroom with pan-fried liver and spinach: http://bbc.in/HStBBC

2.       PARASOL MUSHROOMS

Picture: http://bit.ly/Hvfd3H

The Parasol Mushroom has a large, prominent fruiting body that resembles a lady’s parasol. It is a fairly common species that is very sought after and popular, due to its size, seasonal frequency, and versatility in the kitchen. The parasol mushroom is difficult to mistake for any other. It is white and large and has a pleasant nutty smell. When sliced, the white flesh may turn pale pink.

Our favourite Parasol Mushroom recipes:

Pigeons baked in a salt pastry crust with cabbage and wild mushroom fricassee: http://bbc.in/Ihr8ib

French trimmed chicken breast with wild mushrooms: http://bbc.in/HHLmR6

3.       PENNY BUN BOLETE MUSHROOMS

Picture: http://bit.ly/HmlWK3

This is one of the most sought after culinary mushrooms. Young specimens can be eaten raw in salads. They have a strong mushroom flavour when cooked. Once dried, it is excellent for flavouring soups, sauces and stocks. The Penny Bun is cream mottled or streaked with pale brown. The white network at the top of the stem is distinctive. The Penny Bun is an edible mushroom held in high regard in many cuisines and is commonly prepare and eaten in soups, pasta or risotto. It is low in fat and digestible carbohydrates, and high in protein, vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre.

Our favourite Penny Bun recipes:

Penny Buns and Courgette Pasta: http://bit.ly/IkEIUO

Wild mushroom and Spinach tart with mustard leeks and fondant potato: http://bbc.in/ImvLHo

 4.       BAY BOLETE MUSHROOMS

Picture:  http://bit.ly/Ic3F6X

This is an edible, pored mushroom with a bay or chestnut coloured cap. It is common in British woodland and is less affected by maggots than other Boletes. Don’t be put off by the flesh bluing when it is cut, this is a good, edible species.

Some of our favourite Bay Bolete recipes:

Chestnut tagliatelli with wild mushroom sauce and white truffle: http://bbc.in/Hp7Fjq

Chicken stir-fried with pak choi: http://bbc.in/HSCeMG

As with before, be very careful when collecting wild mushrooms, as many are poisonous and can be harmful. Before going foraging for mushrooms read our post on identifying poisonous species.

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