After a cold and rainy night in the Adelaide Hills, an exciting discovery is waiting for you.
That’s right, mushrooms. Specifically- Porcini mushrooms.
If you don’t know what they are, Porcinis are brown capped mushrooms with thick and white stalks. Their distinctive size, shape and smooth texture makes it the perfect ingredient to your dish.
While they are delicious, they are expensive. A kilo of porcini mushrooms can sell for approximately $120 a kilo. But why spend that much money, when foraging for them is free?
There is something innocent and care-free about foraging for mushrooms. Foraging is a great activity to do with the kids if you want to get them out of the house. It’s a simple past time that is often overlooked.
My two co-workers and I managed to find 10 porcini mushrooms in just one area of the woods. None of us had foraged before (so believe me, you don’t have to be an expert to do it).
That being said, if you’ve never foraged before, it’s best to go with someone who is knowledgeable about mushrooms. While porcinis are very unique, the last thing you want to do is to pick a mushroom that is poisonous. We were fortunate to have Emily as our mushroom guru, but if you don’t know someone who is a porcini expert, the internet is a great tool for retrieving more information.
So, take a drive up to the Adelaide Hills after a crisp, wet day with the family and go wandering amongst the beautiful autumnal trees. While you take in the beautiful and vibrant colours, take a closer look at the earth. Search for the hidden mounds of dirt and be careful where you step.
When you find your porcinis, drive home, kick off your shoes and start cooking up a beautiful dish. I can assure you; it will be a memorable one. Afterall, nothing beats fresh and local produce that you pick yourself. If you need inspiration for a mushroom dish, we have one here just for you. Happy foraging.
Here is a link if you want to find more information about Porcini: https://untamedfeast.com/porcini-mushrooms/
Mushroom and goats cheese tarts
1 kg mushrooms-sliced
¼ cup olive oil
2 onions small dice
2 cloves garlic
250ml white wine
Salt and pepper to taste
200ml thickened cream
1 bunch thyme chopped
Frozen puff pastry- slightly defrosted for use.
Sauté off onions and garlic in olive oil.
Add mushrooms and cook till liquid dries up-optional porcini at this time too- but not the liquid.
Add wine reduce till almost gone.
Add cream and thyme, and-to taste a little of the porcini liquid.
Bring to boil reduce slightly, season with salt and pepper- remove from heat and cool before use.
Cut rounds of puff pastry to line individual tart tins, fill with cooled mushroom mixture and crumble goats’ cheese on top.
Bake 200oC till golden brown, serve with onion relish and rocket salad.