My recent Blog post explains how I got introduced to this amazing fungus. http://eatingforireland.com/2019/06/08/thats-one-big-mushroom/
I’ve always been a mushroom fan, but this is better! A happy half-hour on the Internet gave me all the information I needed, plus a suggestion for a recipe, which I’m going to share with you now.
If you get a chance to try this delicious foraged giant, please do!
A couple of words for the wise. I’m a city girl, and my country lore isn’t quite what it should be, so if you’re like me I’d suggest:
a) That you buy your Puffball from a reputable source.
b) Wipe it, don’t wash it.
c) Cut off the outside rind – it can cause tummy upsets in some people.
d) The inside of the fungus should be soft and fully white – if it’s going brown or purple, it’s creating spores and is not fit for eating.
Now, let’s get on and have some fun with this yummy ingredient!
- A frying pan.
- A shallow roasting tray, lined with baking parchment.
- A small saucepan
- 3 small bowls
- A nice big slice (or two) of Giant Puffball – rind, and any evidence of animal nibbling removed
- 1 tablespoon of seasoned plain flour
- 1 small egg, lightly beaten
- 1-2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese
- a drizzle of Rapeseed Oil
- A large knob of butter
- A fresh Mozzarella, sliced
For the Tomato sauce: (of course you can use ready-made – I just had the ingredients to hand when I was making this recipe)
For 2-3 people
- 2-3 ripe tomatoes – seeds removed and diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, grated
- half a green Chilli, finely chopped, or a sprinkle of dried Chilli flakes.
- Good glug of Olive oil
- Big handful of fresh Basil, finely chopped.
Make the Tomato sauce first:
- Heat the oil in the saucepan to a medium-high heat.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and stir around until they start to fall apart (a couple of minutes)
- Add some salt and pepper, and the grated garlic.
- Add the Basil.
- Let the sauce reduce down until there’s not too much liquid left.
- Put to one side (it doesn’t have to be hot for this recipe)
- Place the seasoned flour, beaten egg and Parmesan into separate bowls
- Cut the prepared Puffball into even-sized pieces
- Dredge a piece in the flour, then dip into the beaten egg, and finally into the Parmesan.
- Place on a plate, then continue dipping all the other pieces.
- Heat the oil and butter together and fry the Puffball pieces until golden on both sides.
- Remove each piece to a sheet of kitchen paper as it’s done.
- This doesn’t need to be kept warm either.
To finish: Heat the oven to 180 fan
- Place each piece on a lined baking tray.
- Top each one with a spoon of tomato sauce
- Top off with a slice of Mozzarella
- Place into the oven for about 7-10 minutes until the cheese is melted
- Serve at once.
- With a few creative substitutions for the Parmesan and Mozzarella, this would be an excellent Vegan dish. I really liked this, and I’m a carnivore!
- I used my Puffball as a side-dish for this evening’s dinner, but I think it’s worthy of being the star attraction, with a robust side-salad.
- Once the Puffball is cooked, you can let it cool until you want it.
- One of the things I learned from my Internet search is that if you want to freeze it, you must cook it first.
- I’m definitely going to try making a Vegetarian Pizza as soon as I can, using my new-found pal as a base!