My friends Ann and John are funghi experts and these wonderful hedgehog mushrooms or Pied de Mouton were given to us this week.
In return we gave them the green beans which we have a glut of – I think we got the better deal!
They were gathered somewhere in Yorkshire (mushroom hunters are notoriously secretive) and made a delicious supper sauteed with butter, parsley and garlic and served on toast.
They’re apparently known as hedgehog fungus because instead of gills, the mushrooms have downward pointing spines, which some say you should scrape off before cooking as they’re slightly bitter, but I didn’t bother.
Really wild mushrooms are a treat, but it can be a dangerous operation if you don’t know what you are doing – we’re lucky in that we can ask A and J if what we find is edible.
But there a lots of organised funghi forays in the coming weeks. Harlow Carr RHS Garden in Harrogate has one on October 23 as part of an Autumn food weekend, Thorp Perrow Arboretum has a number through October and Castle Howard has one in its lovely grounds.