Off the Grid  Retirement at our remote log cabin in Colorado

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

What’s for Dinner? Puffball Parmesan!

Posted by: Lynne

Yes, you heard right. The other night for dinner we picked a couple of the puffball mushrooms that grow at this time of year at the top of our driveway. And yes, these are the same mushroom that if you let them go they become those powdery things that are so much fun to step on and watch the brown spores explode all over the place. BUT, if you catch them when they are still young and firm they are completey and wonderfully edible. No joke! 

One of our mushroom books had a recipe for Puffball Parmesan which sounded really good to us, so we went for it. We've never eaten puffballs before so it was kind of an experiment. And hey, we didn't even have a frozen pizza standing by just in case it was inedible.

The recipe called for making a tomato sauce with green peppers, onions, garlic, whole canned tomatoes and tomato paste. 

We cut up the puffballs into "eggplant" like thick slices, then they got dipped in egg and coated with grated parmesan and bread crumbs (and savory, salt & pepper). Into the frying pan they went until golden brown. Then in they went to the casserole dish in a single layer, sliced mozzarella, and the tomato sauce was poured over them. More parm on the top.

And here is how it looked coming out of the oven.

And on the plate before it went into my mouth and got eaten completely up.

I have to say it was so DELICIOUS! Very meaty and eggplant like but with a delicate flavor like I imagine tofu to taste (although I've never had it). You would never have known you were eating a mushroom. The sauce was wonderful and I think we'll use it on other italian meals. Although our mushroom book said that sometimes they can cause indigestion we had no issues whatsoever. I have more issues after eating fast food! It's too bad they only appear at this time of year and not on a regular basis. They grow really fast so you have to catch them before they get too big. We'll be having them again next year for sure. Care to join us for dinner?

Comments:

Two comments: These are giant puffballs which can grow to basketball size. The small ones we stepped on as kids are the same kind but a smaller variety. Both kinds are edible. I also feel obliged to say that while these giant puffballs are easily identified and a prize find for mycophagists, don’t ever eat any wild mushroom that you are not 100% sure of. And, never eat any wild mushroom raw.

Just let me know when you’re having it again and I’ll be there!  grin

I’ve heard of eating puffball but I had no idea they were so huge! That’s pretty impressive!

Thanks for your comment about algae and dogs. The green stuff on the pond where Olga was swimming is actually duckweed, not algae—but I have never heard of dogs becoming ill (and certainly not dying!) from algae. So that’s good to know. This particular pond is a popular dog-gathering spot, so I think it’s pretty safe.

Carolyn: good for you! I figured you might eat it1 smile

Steve, and those were the smaller ones! Glad it was duckweed and not algae on the pond. Just thought I’d tell you in case. It took them a while to figure out why an otherwise healthy dog had died. I don’t remember what kind of algae spores they were, but it never hurts to be on the safe side! Swim on, Olga!

You two even take your adventurous spirits to the dinner table. Wow.

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