Sparassis (also known as cauliflower mushroom) is a genus of parasiticand saprobic mushrooms characterised by their unique shape and appearance. This appearance can be described as similar to a sea sponge, a brain, or a head of cauliflower, from which it has been given its popular name.
The generic name comes from the Greek sparassein meaning to tear.
Cauliflower Mushroom is a large cluster mushrooms with frilly leaf like structures that resemble a head of cauliflower. They are crunchy with a mild nutty flavour. Cauliflower mushrooms are only available fresh during the Fall season. Cauliflower mushrooms work best when cut into florets and sauteed.
Cauliflower Mushrooms on Toast
1 Cauliflower Mushroom, carefully cleaned with a brush, damp paper towe
1-2 Garlic Cloves, chopped or sliced
1-2 tsp. chopped parsley
1 tsp. Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
4 pieces of toast
1. One drawback to this mushroom is it can be very dirty. With multiple folds and branches, dirt hides, and debris like pine needles, leafy bits and even insects must be removed. As a practical matter, this means the mushroom must be broken up before cooking to be sure to get it fully clean. That must be why there are so many recipes for sparassis soup, where large pieces are less important.
2. On medium heat, add the olive oil to a small to medium sauté pan. When it is hot, add the garlic and cook for a minute or so. Add the mushrooms and stir for one-two minutes. Add the parsley and reduce heat. Cook for another few minutes until mushrooms are cooked through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. Spread on toast. This is self-explanatory. You can also add to pasta, rice, steamed veggies (like spinach) or eat as is. Some folks like a squeeze of lemon – we didn’t but suit your own tastes.
Makes 2 Servings
Recipe Courtesy of Wake up and Eat