Sunday, August 21, 2011

Puffballs! Cast iron frying pan sizzles with fungi feast.

Season of the puffballs! 
photo by Jonathan Schechter 8/21/11

My disclaimer first:
Just because I eat something from Mother Nature's endless pantry does not mean you should.

MORE SAFETY: Never gather from a lawn that is sprayed with any chemicals.  And if you are not 100%  certain it
is  a puffball, don't eat it. Some poisonous shrooms when first emerging - including the destroying angel - ( a deadly amanita)  can be confused with a newly emerged puffball. 
A photo is not a mushroom ID class!

The new batch  of puffballs that just emerged after the rains is a perfect palate pleaser. I will grant you a puffball hunt does not create the romance and excitement of searching for the morels of spring,  nor are the flavors and textures the same. But his fantastic fungi that is popping up all
 about my meadow and lawn is tasty when young. In my book when its about six times larger
than a black walnut (see photo) it is the perfect harvest size. 
 Puffballs will eventually swell to the size of a pregnant basketball!

Here is my step to step 10 minute guide from waking up to consumption.

 Look out my window and smile at new puffballs in moist grass.
    Walk outside while barefoot and pick one puffball.
    (Why barefoot? Why not!) 
Make sure no little critters are napping on puffball.
    Slice the puffball thinly, maybe 1/8 of an inch.
 Lay slices on cast iron pan sizzling with hot olive oil.

Flip once.
    Season with a hot sauce and sprinkles of feta cheese .
    Eat and Enjoy.

Feeling a bit wild? Chop into squares and prepare with roasted peppers, garlic and spinach!
And don't forget to thank Mother Nature for her bountiful harvest of a waning summer.


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