Thursday, August 15, 2013

Mushroom season brings a bumper crop

It's Field Mushroom season here in South Wales but it seems I may have been missing out.

I expect to see them first on our hillside in South Wales around the middle of August but some of my wife's patients in the Vale of Glamorgan mentioned they were already enjoying a bumper harvest in the first week of the month.

They may be a little later up here than in the coastal plains which are warmer being closer to the sea and at a lower altitude than our 550 feet (175m). But there are certainly plenty around now.

I try picking them between 9 and 10am and twice a week, though judging by the spoiled ones around I could be there every other day and still get plenty.

This morning I picked about 4lbs - all either of them had either sprouted out of the ground this morning or later yesterday. Any damaged or a bit manky looking get left.

Once picked, you need to use them quickly as they go soggy if left out.

I tried this recipe for Mushroom and Tarragon Pate on BBC Goodfood website and it was delicious. I simply used 200g of wild Field Mushrooms instead of shiitake and chestnut mushrooms and although the recipe called for fresh tarragon I used freeze-dried as I haven't any of the fresh stuff.

The taste is really quite strong but it went superbly on toast. I left one batch in the fridge for three days and it was still fine.

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