Saturday, May 26, 2007

Mushy Madness

The 1st of June marks the start of Mushroom Mania here in Australia. This event is a food service campaign to help the restaurant and food industry sell more mushroom dishes. After much welcomed recent rain falls in this part of the our parched country, wild field mushrooms are in abundance here. I even have a regular crop growing on my front lawn, which up until 2 weeks ago, was a dust bowl.

Whilst my "crop" could be more abundant, I try and pick them before the slugs, worms and snails steal them. If you're wondering whether they are safe to eat, perform the scratch test. Scratch the skin and if there is any yellowing, reject it. You probably have picked Agaricus xanthodermus, which is commonly known as "yellow-stainer", and it is poisonous.

I have chosen a recipe from here, as my entry into Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted this week by Ellie from Kitchen Wench, which ends today, so I had better get my tail moving. (For someone that entered her first event only Thursday, I'm obsessed already!). As time is very limited, this recipe calls for ingredients I have growing here in my own backyard, apart from the mushies from the frontyard. Does this class me as an organic producer?

Sage that has survived the drought

Rocket which has come up from the dropped seeds only after the rain


Serves 4

12 small flat mushrooms

2 tbs olive oil

salt and ground black pepper to taste

8 thin rindless bacon rashers, finely chopped

2 tbs chopped fresh sage leaves

1 cup fresh breadcrumbs

1 cup freshly grated parmesan

baby rocket leaves to serve.

Preheat oven to 200 C (392 farenheit if you want to be exact). Line tray with baking paper

Brush both sides of mushrooms with oil & season with salt and pepper. Bake for 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook bacon in a medium frypan over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes, or until crisp. Add sage and breadcrumbs and cook, stirring often, for 2 more minutes. Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan.

Remove mushrooms from oven and top evely with breadcrumb mixture. Return to oven and bake for 5 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Season with salt and pepper and serve with rocket leaves, drizzled with olive oil.

The verdict? Delicious, but try to get the meatiest flat mushrooms available. The topping overpowers the mushroom bite otherwise, but who am I to complain when they are a gift from nature?


Kalyn said...

It does sound quite delicious. I especially like the idea of pairing this with arugula (rocket). Welcome to WHB too!

Ellie said...

I am so jealous of your home grown mushrooms! And being a mushroom lover myself, I'l definitely going to have to give this a go!

Maria Helene Schlösser said...

Welcome, and yes I´m jealous of your homegrown mushrooms. I know from childhood days they taste like nothing besides them!! :))

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Delicious flavor combinations!
Go Mushrooms!

Pam said...

Thanks Kalyn,
Yes, the rocket certainly complimented the flavours. Thanks for a great event, and hopefully I can find the time to keep entering.

Ellie, you really can't compare the flavour of fresh from the ground to the cultivated supermarket mushrooms can you?

Hi Marie Helene, I also have memories of mushroom hunting as a child, but actually didn't like to eat them then. Funny how your tastes alter over the years.

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

I love mushrooms and sage! Sounds absolutely delicious!

Lynnylu said...

Looks very tasty and I like the photos.