Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Have you ever had a puffball?

This weekend, as I was strolling through the St Lawrence Market for some seasonal produce my eyes landed on this unusual specimen: a puffball! These large, rounded cream-coloured gems - part of the mushroom family - were my market-find of the day. I had never seen these anywhere before (have you?), but after a little research I knew exactly how I would be serving them.

Puffballs can be cooked much in the same way as regular cremini or button mushroom, although they have more of a soft, spongy, marshmallow-like texture. They reduce a lot when cooked and are best enjoyed warm. Even though I stocked up on heirloom tomatoes, golden beets and wild blueberries for the week, I was most excited about these over-sized cartoon-worthy goodies.With a little white wine, herbs and garlic, they make a perfect side dish. They soak up flavour with ease and plump up when cooked with wine.


Basil-Garlic Puffball
Serves 4

1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups of coarsely chopped puffball
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup white wine
One handful of torn fresh basil

Add olive oil, butter thyme and garlic to a large saute pan on medium heat; cook for 2 minutes. Add puffballs, and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. Add white wine; cook for another 3-4 minutes, or until the wine has almost completely evaporated.

Sprinkle with basil and serve. Enjoy!



7 comments:

Jenn Kendall said...

i've never seen or heard of puffballs, but they look so good and delicious! i adore mushrooms!

Kavey said...

I remember us foraging for and eating puffballs as a child, not done so since then so must keep an eye out!

Cakelaw said...

I have never eaten a puffball - so this is an interesting recipe.

In and Around Town said...

The puffball is impressive - I have never seen one before, but I will definitely be on the look out now!

yummychunklet said...

How delicious and puffy!

Suzanne Perazzini said...

Obviously your puffballs are different to ours here in New Zealand. They grew in the paddocks on our farm when I was young but they were poisonous and we learnt from a young age to stay away from them. Yours are a lot bigger too.

Venetia said...

I wait impatiently every year for September to come so I can find some of these in a market in London to buy and cook! They used to be called "poor man's steak" as they have a very meaty taste, and you can cook them like a steak, by cutting thick slices and frying them in a little oil. I top them with crispy bacon for a yummy non-veggie "steak" :o)

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