Sunday, February 07, 2010


I was visiting the mystery location of my blackberries, checking on their condition, when I came across these:

Created with flickr slideshow.

Where did they come from?

The summer heat and the unseasonal amount of rain we've had since the start of the year has provided the perfect conditions for wild mushrooms to flourish. We usually don't see them around until March, so it's an absolute treat having them this early. As for the size, they're all huge - beasts, even, especially the puffballs!

Given the number and variety, I thought I'd take a few snaps, and snaffle a few mushrooms for breakfast the next day.

Creamed Mushrooms on Toast
Serves three at a stretch, two quite comfortably, and one, well, wear elasticated pants...

  • 500g mushroooms, sliced
  • lemon
  • big knob of butter
  • splash of olive oil
  • small onion, finely chopped
  • 120ml cream
  • 1 tbsp parsley, roughly chopped
  • salt and pepper 
  • toasted slices of ciabatta or sourdough

Pop butter and oil into a hot pan, then add and cook off your onion. Pour half the juice of your lemon over your mushrooms, then add to the pan and cook for around 10 minutes - make sure any liquid has evaporated. Pour in cream and remaining lemon juice, warm through, then season to taste. Serve immediately on toast, and sprinkle with parsley.

Be careful when gathering mushrooms - if you're not sure what it is, don't touch it. A big thank you to Doug for his field spotting skills.

Linky Goodness: 


        Unknown said...

        looks really tempting, my friend!

        Sasa said...

        I've been lurking for a while but thought I'd congratulate you on the new look - very nice!

        Lou said...

        Another great excuse to eat olive oil, cream and butter!

        Barbara said...

        Reminds me of my childhood Nigel. We gathered mushrooms like this on our farm at Margaret River. When we came across two growing close together my younger sister would call them honeymoon mushrooms.

        Ruahines said...

        Kia ora Nigel,
        Beautiful, one of my favourite breakfasts! As long as I am with someone absolutely sure, as it can be a long time between drinks that I get around the wild ones. Making Sicilian meatballs and homemade sauce in the camp oven for the boys tonite, and this is a great place to enjoy a wine, read, and look at great food. Inspiring. Kia ora Nigel.

        Nigel Olsen said...

        Arfi - Delicious & well worth the hunt!

        Sasa - Thank you! Your blog is brilliant and I'm making your gyoza this week!

        Lou - No excuse needed - ever!

        Barb - We never touched them as kids - absolutely loathed them! I'll eat as much as I can get now, & looing for them's part of the fun.

        Robb - Cheers, young man! What's in your meatballs & sauce? You need to tell me.

        Ruahines said...

        Kia ora Nigel,
        I will email you the recipe handed to me by the mother of my Sicilian mate for the meatballs and sauce. Probably not a lot different than others, but the sauce is really nice, as are the meatballs. She used to put out bowls of pasta, meatballs, and Italian sausages, along with a seperate tureen of sauce and just go for it. I think there is also something to preparing them with love.

        Ruahines said...

        Kia ora Nigel,
        As I can't locate an email I will fill you in here, which I guess works just as well.

        depending on how many you want to make, and I tend to go bigger, like a golfball and a half size.
        2/3's good quality mince
        1/3 pork mince
        1 or 2 well chopped onions
        chopped garlic to taste
        salt, pepper to taste
        grated parmesan cheese, you can use the canned stuff but a real flavorful parmesan is always better, probably a half cup per pound of meat
        1 egg
        1 cup or so of bread crumbs optional.
        Mix all together, roll into desired size balls and brown in olive oil. Then add to sauce and ket simmer. This is the basic recipe but I often play around with a bit of herb and spice, oregano, thyme, even a bit of cinamon. But the original recipe taught to me was very basic.

        1 pork loin chop, good and fatty
        2 cans tomato
        1 can tomato paste
        1 cup choped onion
        3-4 garlic cloves chopped
        two tea spoons sugar
        one tea spoon salt
        oregano - 1 tablespoon dry
        basil - one tea spoon dry

        Fry loin chop well brown and remove, add a bit of olive oil and slightly brown onion. Add garlic for a minute or so. Add tomatos and paste and stir through rest of dry stuff. Chuck the chop back in and add browned meatballs. Simmer gently for 30-45 minutes and serve over pasta. Yum! Enjoy mate,

        Alli said...

        Awesome photos Nigel, I just love creamy mushrooms on toast! Funny about your stash of blackberries, I had friends in Muriwai who had astash and they would take me walking as the knew I would nik them!

        Nigel Olsen said...

        Robb - Oheers for that! My email address is the hand-drawn-looking gmail icon, the one that looks like an envelope; click on that an it will open up your email with my address.

        On the topic of meatballs, we have a pork meatball on the tapas menu at work, which comes with this rich bread-based almond sauce - popular, and totally delicious! Thanks again for your recipe, it's appreciated.

        Alli - Ha! Those things are totally nickable! It's been a crap season for them here in HB, largely because of the rubbish weather. I'll be picking some blackberries tomorrow & if I get half a kilo, I'll be lucky.