Frequent rains and rather cool temperatures the past couple of weeks have ensured a steady supply of wild mushrooms. We take the dogs to the forest usually every couple of days, and each time we have come home laden with ceps and boletes. But until yesterday I had yet to find the other unmistakeable mushroom I mentioned a couple of posts ago, the Parasol mushroom. While the cep is considered the king of mushrooms, and I would have to say that is true, there are many other mushrooms with tremendous culinary potential, and I have a particular liking for the Parasol.
It is hard to describe, but it has a sort of woody taste and a lovely texture. I also think part of the reason I am particular to it has to do with its form, not its taste. The form in general is part of why it is so easily recognizable, with a long thin stem and a cap that opens out like, you guessed it, a parasol. But what fascinates me are the extremely delicate gills, which remind me of those slightly crumbly old library books whose pages I have always fingered with such pleasure.
This regular supply of mushrooms has made dinner an easy proposition, as we've simply fried them up in various ways with vegetables, or added them to a quinoa and lentil stew. Here are a couple of the dishes we have made, one with a young courgette from the garden, and another with some of our lovely tomatoes served with scrambled eggs on toast.