Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Mushroom Picking- Belanglo State Forest

Over the Easter Holidays my family and I decided to go mushroom picking! We all love to eat good food so we thought picking mushrooms that you don't normally find in shops would be perfect for us,

Mushroom picking season takes place from early March to late May. To make sure there will be plenty of mushrooms check the weather report if you have had a few days of rain this is perfect! Mushrooms love the wet cool environment of a freshly rained on pine forest.

There are two types of mushrooms that are safe to pick and I'd advise you to go to the local information centre for a picture guide of the safe mushrooms. Saffron Milk Caps and Slippery Jack's are the safe ones to pick and they both have a distinct look. When we were picking mushrooms the only ones we could find were the Saffron Milk Caps. Saffron Milk Caps are rare finds in shops or restaurants they have a floral smell, mild flavour, a slightly solid yet crispy texture and a beautiful saffron coloured secretion when cut into.

The first day of the holidays we travelled all the way to Oberon which was a 4 hour drive from Sydney mainly due to traffic. Unfortunately as beautiful as the pine forest was there were no mushrooms to be found :( this was due to the dry weather the days before. Disappointed and sore from the long car ride our whole stubborn family refused to give up on our hunt for mushrooms. Two days later we decided we would travel to a closer but infamous Pine forest ... Belanglo State Forest. Was I nervous to be going there with my entire precious family? yes! we've all heard the stories so I'll spare everyone the details. We made it in around 1.5 hours and straight away the images of a Dark Scary forest melted away... There were families camping and children running around with buckets too large for their little hands. Not so scary after all...

Belanglo State Forest- beautiful
Toadstools ! they exist! The Stuff of fairytales  (Warning Poisonous do not pick or eat)
Weird blue poisonous mushrooms (Warning do not pick or eat)

Saffron Milk Caps - edible ones! yummy. (When picking cut at the base , leaving the roots in encourages them to regrow)

We made mushroom pizza with a truffle butter. Recipe below

Mushroom Pizza

What You Need: (amount depends on how many pizzas you make)

Mushrooms ( We used saffron Milk Caps)
Truffle butter ( you can buy in jars at specialty shops)
Truffle Salt
Cheese grated
Fresh Thyme
Garlic - clove diced
Pizza Bases (Store bought or you can make your own)
Salt and Pepper to taste

What To Do:

1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius
2. Sautee the Mushrooms in butter, thyme, Garlic, salt and pepper till lightly browned and fragrant
3. Mix some truffle salt in with the truffle butter and spread generously onto the pizza base
4. Spread the mushrooms over the top
5. Top with the grated cheese
6. Bake in the oven for 10- 15 minutes
7. Remove and then dot the pizza with more truffle butter
8. Slice, serve and enjoy!


xx Mel