Botanical: Clitocybe nuda

Description: Cap 6 to 12 cm across, flattened-convex becoming depressed and wavy, bluish-lilac to purple-pink at first then more brownish, drying paler. Stem 2 to 5 cm x 1 to 3 cm, often slightly bulbous at the base, bluish-lilac, fibrillose, frequently lilac-colored mycelium at the base. Flesh thick, soft, bluish-lilac to buff. Taste and smell taste not distinctive, pleasant, or slightly bitter; odor fragrant and non-mushroomy. Gills attached to the stem – sometimes by a notch – or beginning to run down the stem; close or crowded; pale lavender to violet or lilac; sometimes grayish purple when fresh; fading to buff, pinkish-buff or brownish in age. Spore print pale pink.

Habitat: Singly to gregariously in coniferous and deciduous woodlands, hedgerows, fields and gardens, fall to mid-winter.

Primary keys: Lilac cap and gills; attached (notched) gills; no veil; short stout stem; pink spore print; distinctive odor (once learned); lilac mycelium at stem base.

Photo © Michael Wood, courtesy of MykoWeb

Edibility: Fair to choice. It varies greatly in taste and texture, from quite good to not so good. Known to cause gastrointestinal upset if eaten raw.

Red, White & Blewit Hash

8 oz. fresh or 1 oz. reconstituted Clitocybe nuda
8 oz. each red and white new potatoes
8 oz. leftover turkey breast, cubed small
1 small leek, white part only
1/2 small fennel bulb, white part only
4 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1 t. salt
1/2 t. white pepper
1/4 C. Greek yogurt
1/2 t. orange zest
1 T. chopped fennel fronds

  • Cut the leek in half lengthwise, then 1/4″ slices across. Slice the fennel bulb into equivalent sizes.
  • Gently saute both in 1 T. oil in a non-stick pan until tender without browning, remove and set aside.
  • Clean the Blewits and quarter or half them depending on size. Saute gently in 2 T. oil until liquid evaporates and set aside.
  • Quarter or half the potatoes and bring to a simmer in cold salted water, cook until mostly tender but not soft (note that they may cook at different rates), drain dry.
  • Add cooked mushrooms, potatoes, turkey, remaining oil, and salt and pepper to a large non-stick saute pan over medium-high heat, toss frequently until lightly browned & heated through.
  • Remove from heat, add the reserved leek/fennel mixture, yogurt and orange zest.
  • Toss together and serve topped with fennel fronds.