My blog on spring mushrooms, published on .delicious online:
Thought wild mushrooms were purely an autumnal affair? Think again. Like a prelude to the blockbuster film, or a really good support act at a gig, spring mushrooms are popping up in the UK now – signalling a new season and many umami-packed dishes to come.
The main spring mushroom stars are morels (pictured below: bottom right) St George’s (bottom left) and mousserons (at the top).
Here are 10 reason why you should be eating them and, of course, some recipes for you to try too.
1 A taste of spring
Appearing on the forest floors and grassy pathways sometimes as early as the beginning of March, spring wild mushrooms are ready with the first spears of asparagus or glossy leaves of wild garlic. Seasonal pairings are the best way to experience these mushrooms – with a dry honeycomb texture, meaty black morels are a fine match for asparagus in this recipe.
2 Good for the soul
Cleaning and chopping mushrooms can be satisfying and therapeutic. Spring mushrooms have some of the most interesting textures of the fungi collection making them great fun to prepare… as long as you’re not catering for 40.
Mousserons, also known as fairy ring mushrooms, are tiny little things. They are around the size of your thumbnail and have very thin, short stems and caps with wide gills. Harbouring dirt easily – they need a good clean before being cooked – usually whole.This is simple enough: wash them gently in a warm water bath, dry with paper cloth, then, use a small, clean paintbrush, to sweep out any debris. You can repeat this process if they need it.
Morels are hollow, so also need a light water bath and some extra work with the paintbrush. St George’s mushrooms, named because the official start to their season is St George’s Day, are like tightly-formed and slightly elongated versions of the common button mushroom. They are great sliced and take no time at all to wipe clean with a damp cloth. Great with garlic and lemon, try them in this spaghetti recipe.
Read the full blog and get the pictured Portuguese Risotto recipe on www.deliciousmagazine.co.uk