Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Puffball Recipe - Puffball Piccata

Milkweed capers
To keep our 6 year old daughter's interest in mushroom hunting for hours on each Sunday, Robert has devised an incentive program she can't resist: money for mushrooms. For each mushroom she finds she gets a quarter. Her proximity to the ground and her natural curiosity gives her an edge that we don't have. This past weekend while picking nectarines at the local orchard, Gillian spied a large purple-spored puffball (Calvatia cyanthiformus) under a nearby pear tree, and promptly collected her bounty. We took it home, read up on ID information, and sliced it thinly to make Puffball Piccata, using the capers we made from milkweed flower bud capers earlier this summer. The texture of each puffball filet was tender with a bit of a crispy exterior, and the sauce was tart and briny.  The puffball we found was about 4" wide, so your servings will be based on the size of the puffball. I got about 10 filets from the mushroom, each slice was 1/4" thick. We'll be happily looking for more puffballs to eat this one again.

Puffball Piccata                          Makes about 4 servings

about 10 puffball filets
1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
3 T olive oil
3 T butter
2 T minced sweet onion
1/2 c. white wine
3/4 c. vegetable broth
3 T capers
2 T lemon juice
3 T chopped parsley
lemon slices

1. You need to moisten the puffball filets, I used a water bottle to spray them lightly.
2. Mix the flour with the salt and pepper in a flat dish. Dredge the moistened puffball filets in the flour to coat.
3. Heat the oil in a sautée pan until hot, then add the butter. Quickly fry the filets in the hot fat until lightly browned, about 2 minutes on each side. Place the cooked puffball filets on a covered platter.
4. Using the leftover hot oil and butter in the pan, sautée the minced onion until translucent. Add the white wine and simmer until reduced by half.
5. Add the vegetable broth, capers, and lemon juice and continue to simmer until the sauce thickens slightly. Remove from the heat and adjust the salt and acidity with lemon juice if needed. Add the chopped parsley and pour the sauce over the reserved puffball filets.


Pioneer Woman at Heart said...

That looks good. I have a question for you. Have you ever made coffee from wild chicory roots? I found chicory growing on our property.

The 3 Foragers said...

Not yet! Robert likes dandelion "coffee", so I suppose the chickory must be better. Let us know!

SharleneT said...

I found three beautiful puffballs in the yard, last month, and just sliced and fried them up. They were delicious. My sister loved them and only got nervous when I told her they were growing in the yard! (I tend to feed first, then explain origin to that city girl!) Great recipe. Will definitely try it. Thanks for sharing and come visit when you can.

The 3 Foragers said...

Thanks, SharleneT! Puffballs are sometimes described as "the white bread of mushrooms" but we think that just makes them easy to cook with. Karen