Thursday, December 2, 2010

Late Season - Oysters, not On the Beach

One of the common, dependable and tasty fall mushrooms is the Oyster, Pleurotus ostreatus. After a heavy rain, large clusters of Oyster almost explode out of dead trees, either fallen or still standing. Most often I find them on dead or injured Tulip Poplar trees. These however look to be growing from a felled and sawed oak.

This cluster and individual mushrooms were so large they were easily visible from dozens of yards away. White spores (characteristic of Pleurotus) can be seen dusting the leaves on the ground.
Pleurotus ostreatus, Oyster Mushroom

A different cluster from the 1st photograph, but growing from the same log. It sometimes pays to scout around after finding an initial cluster of Oyster Mushrooms.
Pleurotus ostreatus, Oyster Mushroom

Basket of harvested Oysters. Wild Oyster Mushrooms put store-bought to shame in size, taste and texture.
Pleurotus ostreatus, Oyster Mushroom

Oysters enjoyed the same day they were picked. Here they are sauteed with leeks in butter. This dish was eaten over rice, but imagination suggests this same combination might go very well in a cream of mushroom soup; already in the planning....
Pleurotus ostreatus, Oyster Mushroom and leeks

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