Earlier this week Christopher noticed that jillions of mushrooms had sprouted up in the horse pasture next door. Fortunately, our favorite wild mushroom expert was coming over for dinner on Friday night, and quickly identified them as Meadow Mushrooms.
Alan, who knows more about wild mushrooms than almost anyone around (click here to visit his wild mushroom website), explained that Meadow Mushrooms are the closest wild equivalents to storebought white button 'shrooms. Since they are white, and there's a deadly mushroom that grows around here that's also white, we learned that this edible variety is distinguished by pink or brown "gills" on the underside.
C & A harvested some of the mushrooms last eve and we had them for dinner, marinated in balsamic vinegar and olive oil with fresh minced garlic and then broiled briefly in the toaster oven. I thought they were WAY better than button mushrooms. In fact, they were delectable.
Harvested meadow mushrooms up close
We ate the broiled mushrooms with fresh sliced tomatoes and sauteed veggies (squash, chard, potatoes, onions, garlic) with homemade tomato sauce over pasta, topped with some of that ridiculous beet/basil pesto. Needless to say, it was quite satisfying.
All of the vegetables were from the garden except for the potatoes, which I bought on Wednesday at the Farmers Market - I used one of each of these gorgeous pink- and purple-fleshed varieties (see the photo below...)
The potatoes were so lovely to behold, especially with the multicolored chard stems (see photo of saute in progress, below) and that magenta pesto on top.
Thanks to Alan for the mushroom lesson, and thanks to the meadow for the free gourmet ingredients!
**NOTE: Don't attempt to identify mushrooms for eating without help from someone with expertise and experience. Book learning is not enough!