After reading numerous accounts of Honey Fungus edibility, I have deduced this;
It is a species eaten frequently on the continent, but shouldn't be consumed raw and should always be parboiled (with the water thrown away) before using in cooking. Despite this, some forms can cause stomach upset, and so it should only be eaten in small amounts.
OK, so now we have that straight, on to the Honey Fungus and the recipe, which is from the Carluccio book mentioned above.
|These were only two of about ten clusters of these mushrooms growing within a ten metre radius|
The ring distinguishes the Honey Fungus from Armillaria tabescens, the aptly named Ringless Honey Fungus. Beware of the poisonous Sulphur Tuft (Hypholoma fasciculare) - white gills distinguish Honey Fungus from the Sulhpur Tuft, whose gills are a dull sulphur-yellow to greenish, becoming blacker with age.
|Young specimens often have the fibrillose scales on the cap, as seen here|
|Chop the tough bottom part of the stem off before cooking|
|Parsley, garlic and chilli|
From Antonio Carluccio's Complete Mushroom Book (serves four);
- 500g linguine
- 60g parmesan
- 800g fresh and tight Honey Fungus
- 8 tbsp olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 fresh red chilli
- 2 tbsp coarsely chopped parsley
- Handful of sun-blushed tomatoes
I must confess to changing the recipe in the book, but only slightly - we made sun-blushed tomatoes this year by semi-dehydrating tomatoes from the garden and storing in oil. As they were so delicious, I added them in to the sauce, and they were a really nice addition, I think the pasta would have been lacking something had they not been there.
Clean the Honey Fungus, and remove the toughest part of its stem. Boil for 3-4 minutes in slightly salted water, then drain well. Cook the pasta in plenty of salted water for 6-7 minutes until al dente. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large pan and add the garlic and chilli. Before the garlic browns, add the mushrooms, parsley and sun-blushed tomatoes. Cook for a few minutes only. Drain the pasta well, and mix it with the mushroom sauce. Add the Parmesan and enjoy!
Although I enjoyed this dish, I was not overly taken with the Honey Fungus - I thought they were pretty bland and quite slimy, they did however stay reasonably firm, so perhaps they would be best used as a stewing mushroom.