Included in many of this week’s deliveries was an extra-special treat—boletus edulis! If that name doesn’t ring a bell, don’t fret. You might know this species under one of its many aliases, including penny bun, steinpilz, or porcini. Given the widespread growth and popularity of this mushroom variety, its collection of nicknames isn’t entirely surprising, but what may surprise you is the origin of this week’s haul. This wild delicacy was harvested directly from the slopes of Mount Hood by our very own Grocery Getter Team. This week, we’ll recount the mushrooms’ journey as well as provide some tips on finding and preparing them.
On Monday night, Mike and Cory, ventured out to Mount Hood for a routine camping and harvesting trip. With the help of truffle-detecting pup, Buddy, the two of them brought in cases of fresh boletus.
Even if you don’t have a rockstar dog to guide you to these mushrooms, you can still have a successful foraging trip. In fact, boletus edulis are a great for beginner foragers! The bolete mushroom family has very few dangerous lookalikes. The only poisonous member of the bolete family is clearly identifiable by a bright red color that covers the stem and underside of the cap. Unlike most mushrooms, boletes have a spongy layer beneath the mushroom cap in place of the usual gills. Here are some images of the boletus Mike, Corey, and Buddy found on Mount Hood.
As you can see in the left image, the brown caps are sometimes easy to spot among the foliage. In other cases, the mushrooms are hidden beneath plants and dirt and requires unearthing. The two right-most images showcase one of the trip’s most impressive finds, which was almost entirely submerged in the ground. To learn more about identifying wild mushrooms, we recommend checking out this online guide.
Once you’ve collected a satisfactory number of boletus, there are a number of delicious ways to enjoy your harvest. A tried-and-true method of preparing these mushrooms is to grill them up in some olive oil, adding only salt to bring forth the delicious flavor and meaty texture.
For a more adventurous meal, here’s a campsite recipe created by Mike and Corey:
Onion Bombed Bolet Stew
- 3 white or yellow onions
- 2 lbs. ground beef
- 1 head of cauliflower
- Coconut oil
- Campfire fire
- Aluminium foil
- Large pot
To prepare this fire-roasted stew, you first need to cook up some onion bombs. To do this, you’ll want to cut your onions vertically. This allows you to remove the inner layers of the onion to create a hollow, onion shell. Add any seasonings you’d like to your ground beef and use your hands to form into a ball and place it inside the onion. The next step is to prepare your onion bomb to be roasted on the fire. Some recipes recommend adding a small drop of water to your onion bomb, which helps it steam in the fire. Add oil to the inner layer of the foil, then wrap the onion bombs individually taking care not to tear or create hole in the foil. Roast on the fire, turning the onions over every 10 minutes for approximately an hour before removing from the fire.
While your onion bombs are preparing, begin working on your roasted cauliflower. Take chopped cauliflower and mix with coconut oil and your preferred seasoning. Set out a piece of aluminium foil large enough to encompass all of your cauliflower. Placing your vegetables in the middle, Bring the opposite corners of your foil together, folding over the seam to seal tightly. Place the package directly on the coals, allowing it to roast for approximately 45 minutes, checking periodically.
Once the cauliflower and onion bombs are thoroughly cooked, you can begin assembling your stew. In a large pot, add your cauliflower and boletus. Taking the onion bombs, open the contents of the onion into the pot, allowing the juices to mix in with the vegetables. Stir so the stew is thoroughly mixed, and place on the fire. Allow the mixture to cook for 45-60 minutes. Remove from the fire and enjoy!