Appetizers

Regional cookbook devoted to the delectable fungus

Among the 50 authors who appeared at the recent Northern California Independent Booksellers Association’s annual trade show were Alison Gardner and Merry Winslow.

The two met at a mushroom-identification course a few years ago, compared notes and ultimately wrote “The Wild Mushroom Cookbook: Recipes From Mendocino” (Barefoot Naturalist Press, $25, 274 pages).

The book is stuffed with nearly 300 mushroom-centric recipes for appetizers, dips, soups, sides, entrees and more. For the uninitiated, the Mendocino and Fort Bragg areas offer a bounty of wild mushrooms that attract mushroom-hunters from around the world. There’s even a well-attended mushroom festival each November.

At their trade show booth, Gardner and Winslow excitedly offered samples of porcini mushroom tapenade and dried porcini sour cream dip. Very tasty stuff. We’re looking forward to some experimentation at home with their recipes for mashed potatoes with leeks and mushrooms, porcini dumplings and chanterelle-stuffed chilis.

Allen Pierleoni: 916-321-1128, @apierleonisacbe

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