It’s pouring with rain and freezing outside, but at least the first of this year’s mushrooms are appreciating the moisture. The St George’s mushrooms traditionally appear around St George’s Day and although they are a little late this year due to the early dry, summery conditions, you can be assured that as the rain falls at this time of year, they pop up.
They often grow in large rings and can be found in pastures and in the grass beside woodland paths. They have a strong mushroomy smell with creamy white caps, stem and spores. Do make sure that you have correctly identified them as you should never eat any mushroom until you are certain it is edible as many are poisonous and some are deadly poisonous.
The St George’s Mushrooms that I found yesterday were very close to some wild garlic and together they make a fantastic Spring Foraging risotto. The wild garlic flowers are also edible and make a lovely garnish with a decent garlicky hit that defies their delicate appearance.
To prepare, sautee some shallots and garlic for 5 mins over a medium heat, then add half your mushrooms and cook for another 8 minutes. Add the risotto rice then after a minute or two start adding the chicken stock (or mushroom stock if you have it). Keep adding a ladle of stock at a time until absorbed while stirring constanstly. Cook up the remaining St George’s and fry slowly in butter and garlic and add later after they have browned and are slightly crispy on the edges. When the rice is nearly cooked, add the chopped wild garlic, butter, parmesan and parsley, cover for a few minutes then garnish with more mushrooms and wild garlic flowers.
- 500g St George’s Mushrooms
- 1 litre chicken or mushroom stock
- 300g risotto rice
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 50g butter
- handfull parsley
- 50g parmesan
- seasoning to taste