Within our meadow and the surrounding pastures, these tall fungal ‘umbrellas’ seem to appear almost overnight. From tiny club-like drumsticks they emerge broad and elegantly into their adult form.
The Parasol mushroom (Coulemelle in French), is abundant and easy to identify. Its cousin, the Wood Parasol, that prefers to dwell within its namesake environment is much more ragged and oval and is something to avoid as it has a reputation to cause stomach upsets. However, the Parasol, slim and lofty is a delicious treat.
Simply take the cap only (the stem is fibrous) and slice it into thick finger strips. Cook them like a croquette – dipped in flour, then beaten egg then in breadcrumbs. Shallow fry, drain on kitchen paper, and enjoy with garlic butter or a tartare sauce.
The flesh has a nutty flavour, reminiscent of toast or Brazil nuts. Good hunting!