One of my guests on Sunday’s Fabulous Fungi Walk spotted this huge penny bun. Also known as ceps or porcini Boletus edulis this monster mushroom weighed about 850 grams. Still very far off the recently found 3 kilo Polish porcini!
Often mushrooms this size are past their best, but this one had firm, fragrant flesh, was completely maggot-free. We ate half with my guests, fried gently in butter with salt, pepper, a little nutmeg and a dash of cream. Given their reaction I think they’ll all be foraging again soon!
The other half we had later for supper. Cooked in a similar way with the addition of a splash of white wine, more cream, reduced to a sauce and tossed with crumbled Parmesan into fresh penne pasta. Delicious!
There are many wonderful ways to cook porcini as it lends it’s deep, earthy taste to many dishes. One of my favourites is fresh Porcini and Walnut Soup. When you find big ones, it is also worth making a Porcini Parma Lasagne. This also works well with common puffballs, birch or bay boletes and other large, firm fungi.