The first porcini of summer

One of the good things about taking the amazingly charming Peg for a lunchtime walk, apart from the exercise, is that we walk various routes through Hagley Park – the park at the centre of Christchurch. And today we found the first porcini (Boletus edulis) of the year.

They were smaller than I normally like to pick, but this was one of the best known porcini spots in the park, and if I didn’t get them they’d either be picked by another fungophile or booted into bits by some philistine. I fancy a little salad of raw porcini as a starter tonight: thinly slice the mushrooms, scrape thin wafers of the best parmesan (reggiano, of course), a little pepper, and mix carefully with some good olive oil from Waipara.

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