Giant Puffball Parmigiana

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My recent Blog post explains how I got introduced to this amazing fungus.

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.

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Here’s my slice – I wish I’d bought more!

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)

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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.

METHOD:                               Giant Puffball Parmigiana (2)

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.

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  • 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)

The Puffball:

  • Place the seasoned flour, beaten egg and Parmesan into separate bowls

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  • 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.

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  • Heat the oil and butter together and fry the Puffball pieces until golden on both sides.

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  • 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

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  • Top off with a  slice of Mozzarella
  • Place into the oven for about 7-10 minutes until the cheese is melted
  • Serve at once.

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  • 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!

I started writing down recipes in an old copybook when I was about 16. With 6 children at home, my Mother was always glad of a hand in the kitchen, and really allowed us to experiment - as long as we washed up afterwards, and left the kitchen immaculate! Having a tidy kitchen has followed me through my life, as has the habit of writing down my favourite recipes; except that these days I write them for my website, and add photographs when I can. The website really started when it occurred to me that my daughter might like to have these recipes when I've forgotten them. In my early days of cooking for family and friends, I used to phone my Mum all the time to ask her for the recipe for some of our favourite family dinners. She rarely had a recipe to hand - I think, like me, she made a lot of it up as she went along.. So welcome to Eating for Ireland - these are the recipes that my friends and family having been eating these past 40 years.. yes, I truly am ancient! They are tried and tested, and have worked for me for all that time - I have updated them as new ingredients became available - I really hope you'll find something that you can make into a family favourite of your own. You don't have to tell anyone where you found these great new dishes that you're serving up - it can be our little secret, but I'd really love it if you could give me a sneaky 'follow' on Facebook and Instagram.. So off you go - have a good rummage around, you're bound to find something new! My sincere thanks to all of you who have found a recipe that you liked and dropped me a line to tell me - I really do love to hear from you! Happy Cooking! Becks xx

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