The Italian and I recently spent a weekend in Torino where we went mushroom picking in the forest outside of the city. The Italian is a pretty expert mushroom picker having gone with his father each fall growing up. We were looking for Porcini mushrooms, which that area of Piedmont is known for, as well as a couple of other varieties that the Italian knew to be edible. We didn’t have any luck finding the Porcini, but we did see some pretty spectacular mushrooms called Amanita Muscaria, which are apparently quite poisonous. The mushroom’s bright red and white coloring is a good warning sign to not eat it!
We ended up finding some beautiful Mazze di Tomburo (parasol mushrooms) in the forest and picked them, planning on cooking them at the Italian’s place in Turin with parsley. After picking the mushroom we placed them in a paper bag. Apparently the traditional way to go mushroom picking is with a paper bag: a plastic bag brings bad luck. We had planned on eating the mushrooms for breakfast the next day, but after putting them in the fridge overnight we realized in the morning that they had gone off! Lesson learned: always eat freshly picked mushroom as soon as possible.
Mazze di Tamburo, found in the woods.
However, after our mushroom picking adventure I still wanted to try a mushroom recipe, so the following weekend back in London I visited the Seven Sisters market and bought some Portobello mushrooms, big, thick and meaty. We followed a simple recipe to cook them on a grill, and they were delicious!
Funghi Portobello alla Griglia (Grilled Portobello Mushrooms)
Clean the mushrooms well.
Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with parsley.
Grill several minutes on each side.
The finished product, simple yet delicious!
Serve on its own or with bread and hummus.