Winter is the best season to collect wild porcini mushrooms in the Pacific Northwest. They usually start popping up a couple of weeks after the first rain in November. Although great sliced and dried for future use, the large fresh firm porcini (aka “bolete”) can be prepared much like eggplant, baked with Parmesan.
Porcini Parmesan Recipe
Like many stews and casseroles, this dish is even better the following day, after the flavors are allowed to seep into the mushrooms. You may want to make it ahead of time and reheat it when you want to eat it.
- 1-2 large, fresh, firm porcini mushrooms
- Olive oil
- 1/4 cup of finely chopped onion
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1 Tbsp minced parsley
- Pinches of dried basil, marjoram, and oregano, or other Italian seasonings
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 24-oz can of tomato sauce
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup milk
- Bread crumbs - finely ground
- 8 oz sliced mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 In a large skillet, heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil on medium high heat. Add onions and garlic and sauté over low heat until onions are translucent. Stir in parsley, herbs, salt, pepper, and tomato sauce. Simmer for 30 minutes.
2 Slice the mushrooms into 1/4 inch thick slices. Remove the spongy area underneath the more solid cap of the mushroom. In a bowl, beat the egg and milk. Dip the slices of mushrooom into the egg mixture, dust with bread crumbs. In a large skillet, heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil to medium high. Fry the porcini on both sides, adding more oil as needed, until golden brown.
3 In a 2-quart baking dish, layer the sauce, mushrooms, mozzarella, topping layers off with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350° F for 1 hour.
Yield: Serves 4-6.