Edible Fungi – Dryads Saddle (Polyporus Squamosus)
Rumour spread my village yesterday that fungi was growing in our local woods and that it might be edible. Having never actually cooked or ingested with foraged mushrooms myself I went in to the woods with Rachel and Baxter the dog to seek out this prospected treasure.
Through seemingly endless expanses of blue bells and wild garlic leaves we walked until we reached a clearing where the stems of fallen trees lay. The fungal brackets covered the clearing, of all sizes. There was 8 brackets in total.
We prized 3 brackets from their woody attachments and took them home to identify.
Result! This mushroom is Polyporus Squamosus. Also known as Dryad’s Saddle. And it is edible. But only tasty when fresh. A quick check for freshness is to look at the white pores on the underside of the mushroom. Very small pores indicate a fresh and softly textured mushroom, perfect for cooking and eating. As the mushroom ages, the pores enlarge and the mushroom becomes tougher and inedible. I found that the larger bracket in our find was too tough whilst the smaller brackets were soft. So I set the tougher bracket aside to make a stock out of that afternoon.
Using the soft, young mushrooms, I first chopped off the woody attachments where they had been connected to the trees. Then, I scraped the pores on the undersides away.
I chopped the mushrooms finely.
I melted some butter and garlic in a frying pan and fried the mushrooms gently on a medium heat for 5 minutes.
Served on home baked toasted bread.
It was really tasty.