So, you want to go mushroom hunting! Well, the best advice I can give you is don’t unless you know 100% what you are doing! I was recently invited to attend a day of mushrooms at Delheim Wine Estate and I learnt a lot! I learnt that not all pretty mushrooms are edible. I learnt that some ugly mushrooms are. I have been cooking exotic mushrooms for many years, and frankly, I think it is easier, and safer to buy them than forage for them.
But, if you are determined here are some words of advice as given to us by Dr. Adrian Smit:
- take a magnifying glass with you
- take a box for the mushrooms
- you will need a pocket knife
- make sure you get all the stages of growth of the mushrooms
- buy a good book
- join a foraging group
- you can safely handle all mushrooms without risk
- most of all, only eat the mushroom if you know 100% it is not poisonous
For more information, please contact the Mushroom Academy.
Our day started off with a cup of much needed coffee before we were given a talk about all sorts of mushrooms, and where you can find them and what makes them edible, or not. Now, I am not going to share that with you as I do not want to be responsible for anyone following my advice about foraging.
We then headed into the forest to forage and headed back for a talk on mushrooms by Schalk de Beer. During the talk we were served a plate of exotic mushrooms en croute. Our talk was followed by lunch and I chose the baby spinach salad with seared king oyster mushrooms to start and the risotto with dried boletus mushrooms as my main course. I tasted all of the wines on offer and I can highly rate the Delheim Chardonnay Sur Lie 2010. I was not too impressed by the shitake mushroom cookies and will be developing a biscuit recipe for Delheim at Nora’s request this week.
We left with a gift bag of Nouvelle’s exotic mushrooms, and Delheim’s merlot, both of which have been enjoyed. A big thank you to Erica for extending the invitation.
For the gnocchi recipe, see here
- 15g butter
- 200g exotic mushrooms, sliced
- 100g blue cheese
- 2 tablespoons cream
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper for seasoning
- while your water is coming to the boil for your gnocchi heat the butter in a frying pan
- sauté the mushrooms until soft
- add the blue cheese and the cream and allow the cheese to melt
- at the same time start cooking your gnocchi
- season and add the gnocchi and a bit of the water to loosen the sauce
- I garnished my dish with a few raw mushrooms
Click on the links for conversions and notes.
I am submitting this recipe to Presto Pasta Nights, which is being hosted this week by ME!