Russula virescens, also called quilted green Russula, green-cracking Rusulla and green brittlegill, is a mushroom of mild, nutty taste, which has a green cap and a white stem. It is mostly found in Europe in deciduous and mixed forests, and is used for a variety of culinary preparations such as steaks and salads. It is a summer mushroom and is much favored by the people living in northern parts of Italy.
The pale green colored cap of the mushroom is covered with dark green patches, and the mushroom also has white colored gills crowded on it. The cap of the mushroom is 5 to 15cm wide, and the stem is 3 to 9cm tall. It has a white, thick brittle flesh which does not change color on slicing.
Preferred Cooking Methods
Green-cracking rusulla is eaten raw in salads, or broiled and baked for various preparations. The stems are removed and the mushrooms are washed carefully before used. They require longer cooking as the flesh is dense and does not soften quickly on heating.
Popular Russula Virescens Recipes
- Salads: Many salad recipes can be found for Russula virescens mushrooms. They may be mixed with water-cress leaves and covered in French dressing, and then served with tomato slices. The mushrooms are peeled through when serving raw. They may alternately be broiled or baked and then served on lettuce leaves with mayonnaise dressing, or else with water-cress leaves and French dressing.
- Steak with Mushrooms: This is one of the best ways of serving quilted green russula. The mushrooms are baked with a brushing of butter and then served over broiled steak with seasonings of salt and pepper and chopped parsley. A sauce may be made by boiling stock in the pan used for baking mushrooms and poured over the steak, which is served hot.
Russula virescens should not be confused with Amanita phalloides mushrooms during pickling. The latter, also called death cap, is a very poisonous mushroom which can be identified by the presence of a ring and volva on it.