Tag Archives: mushrooms

Sharon’s Mushrooms Unidentified


Sharon has some impressive mushrooms growing in her yard.  We wish someone could identify them for us.  It turns out I have the same mushrooms growing in mine.  Are they edible?  I don’t have time to research it right now.


Even if I did – I’m not sure I would feel comfortable trying to eat these without a mycologist’s identification.  I have read that in some places in France you can bring any mushrooms you find to the local pharmacy and a professional will pick out any inedible ones for you.  People love to forage mushrooms in France, this way fewer people die doing it.  Genius.


I wish we had that here.  There are people who lead educational mushroom foraging walks in Sonoma County.  I am going to try to find out who to talk to next year when these come back.  Maybe I can get an expert to pronounce on these.


I am posting an exhaustive number of pictures in order to help identify them later from my books.  Just as an exercise for my own mycological education.

sharonsmushrooms13 If those babies were edible you could make several meals out of that cluster!  And she has two of them in her yard!  No, wait, she has three.  Two big ones and one little one.


Even if they don’t turn out to be edible, they are COOL.  I’d still like to know what they are.


I like fungi.  They’re fascinating.


And beautiful.


  I want to get some edible fungi growing in the dark dampish corners of my yard.  Make use of all that shade.sharonmushrooms12

I did see chanterelles growing in a really trashy yard down the street from me.  I didn’t know you could grow them in your yard.  From the looks of the house I’m guessing it was an accident of nature.  I’d like to reproduce that happy accident.


Right after Sharon showed me her mushroom riches I found an enormous clump of the same variety of mushroom growing in my own yard!

So this is something for me to work on some time before next year – trying to identify these beauties.  If you think you know what they are – please share!

Sautéed King Trumpet Mushrooms Over Polenta Recipe

I found these local king trumpet mushrooms at a little market near Sebastopol.  I tried to walk away from them but I kept going back because they were so fresh and pristine and beautiful.  A worthy splurge.  I wanted to prepare them very simply so that the mushrooms could really shine.  I didn’t salt or pepper the sauté and I made the polenta plain.  Because of this I think it’s really important to finish the dish with a drizzle of olive oil – it adds just the right amount of richness without taking anything away from the mushrooms.

Here is a dish that doesn’t want cheese on it.  As I ate it I had no desire to add any Parmesan curls* or feta.  It was perfect as it was.  For my vegan friends – if you don’t already prepare mushrooms this way – please try it!

Sautéed King Trumpet Mushrooms over Polenta Recipe

4 servings

Sautéed King Trumpet Mushrooms over Polenta Recipe


    For the polenta:
  • 1 cup fine polenta
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • For the saute:
  • 1 lb King Trumpet mushrooms
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp parsley, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced fine or pressed
  • olive oil for finishing


    Prepare the Polenta:
  1. Bring the water to a boil in a medium sauce pan and add the salt to the water.
  2. Once boiling turn the heat to low.
  3. Whisk the polenta into the water.
  4. Cover with a lid and cook for 20 minutes.
  5. Prepare the Mushroom Saute:
  6. Clean the mushrooms.
  7. Trim off the ends of the stems and slice mushrooms lengthwise. (Small ones in half and large ones in three slices.)
  8. Heat olive oil in a sauté pan on med/high. When hot toss the mushrooms in the oil and sauté until they are cooked all the way through and are golden at the edges.
  9. Turn the heat down to med/low and add the parsley and garlic and cook for a couple more minutes stirring frequently so the garlic doesn't burn.
  10. To serve:
  11. Ladel the polenta into bowls.
  12. Top each bowl of polenta with the mushrooms.
  13. Drizzle olive oil over each serving.


If you use a medium or coarse grind of polenta you'll need to give it more time to cook. I prefer the finely ground polenta both for its smoother texture and speed of cooking.

You can substitute the king trumpets with any other mushroom but I hope you can find these because they're really wonderful.

This dish is vegan and gluten free (provided your polenta was not processed in a plant that also processes gluten products).


*Like I ever actually make Parmesan curls?  Right.  I’m the girl who dumps piles of grated Parmesan on everything.