Lovely weekend walk , bright and sunny autumn sunshine and in the middle of the pasture a troop of Fields Blewits.
A couple of years ago I picked up a 1970s edition of Jane Grigson’s Mushroom Feast in which Jane claims claims that both Blewits and my other favourite British Mushroom St George’s are overated. Given this dismissal Jane therefore declines to provide any guidance on their collection , identification or cookery.
I don’t know if the re-published 2007 version has the same deliberate omission but it seems unfair particularly for a mushrooms that is so prolific in autumn and easily identified .Luckily Roger Phllips my other mushroom guru is more positive on Lepista saeva describing it excellent and pairing it with chicken in a pie
In fact the Midlands agreed with Roger at this time of year all the small vegetable stalls stock what they call Blue Legs in the autumn Field Blewits unlike their iridescent woodlands relatives only have a small amount of blue on them. On the wholly white mushroom you can see what look like blue biro marks scraped along the side of the stem.
When picking all mushrooms use a knife to cut the mushrooms stem rather than pulling the whole thing up , this preserves the mycelium which assures the mushrooms will return next year, it’s also worth using a brush to brush off any leaf mould, grasses and to spread spores. ( I have just updated my Feminine Foraging Tips )
I love mushrooms on toast it’s a classic , earthy garlicky juices soaking into the crunchy toast . But the appropriate toast to mushroom quotient is sometimes hard to achieve. In this descontructed version large slices of mushroom are tumbled with crunchy breadcrumbs and seasonal chestnuts ensuring hit of mushroom in each mouthful .
You could add some spinach or other flavours to the breadcrumbs, tinned anchovies or chillis but when using such delicious wild mushrooms its nice to keep things simple.
This is also my entry into the In the Bag event hosted by Slice of Cherry Pie , the bag ingredients – nuts, mushrooms and herbs
Wild Mushrooms ( Blewits) with Chestnut Breadcrumbs
3 large blewits or other wild mushroom ( ceps , porcini chanterelles) thickly sliced
1 thick slice of wholemeal bread
4 chestnuts ( from a vacuum pack)
Salt and Pepper
Half a clove of garlic
Few strands of rosemary or thyme
- Toast a slice of bread , process the bread with chestnuts to form fine breadcrumbs
- Season with salt and pepper
- Fry the garlic and rosemary in the butter, add the mushrooms cook for a few minutes.
- Add the breadcrumbs to the pan and mix well