I spotted these mushrooms at the Crescent Moon Farm stall at the Sebastopol farmers market a couple of weeks ago. They caught my eye in part because I’d never seen them before. Farmer Jill Adams explained that they are called Wine Cap, a nod to the color of the young mushroom’s cap, and that she purchased the seed–so to speak,it’s not actually seed, as we usually think of it–from a vendor in the Midwest, planted it this summer and voila!, the mushrooms are popping up all over.
These mushrooms have a wonderfully concentrated flavor. As I always do when I am exploring something new, I have cooked and enjoyed them simply. I’ve sauteed them in a mix of olive oil and butter and seasoned them with just salt and black pepper. I added a splash of white wine to one batch but I felt it interfered with the flavor of the mushroom itself.
You can use these mushrooms in any of your favorite mushroom dishes, from a simple saute spooned over a cheese such as Bellwether Crescenza to mushroom soup, mushroom fricassee, pizza with mushrooms and fontina and polenta with mushrooms. If you love mushrooms, you don’t want to miss this one. It will be a great addition to your fresh pantry.
Crescent Moon Farm sells at the Sebastopol farmers market, held on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. through the end of November, and at the Santa Rosa Original Certified Farmers on both Wednesdays and Saturdays. The Santa Rosa market is held in the east parking lot of the Veterans’ Memorial Building from 8:30 a.m. until noon.
Here are a few of my favorite mushroom recipes from the Seasonal Pantry and Wine of the Week Food Pairing archives. You can use Wine Caps in all of them.