Boletus mushroom: how to find, recognize and cook

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Aspen, red-headed and boletus are names well known to experienced mushroom pickers, under which several species of mushrooms are combined at once. All of them belong to the genus Leccinum. Boletus, a popular and revered by almost all fans of quiet hunting mushroom, looks very elegant, decorated with orange-red or white dyeing hat. The description reports on such a feature as the flesh turning blue on the cut.

Characteristic and Description

The redhead differs from the boletus in a thicker and stockier leg, as well as a characteristic dense pulp of a hat. On the territory of our country, several species of boletus grow. The fruiting body of mushrooms of different species can vary in size, shape and basic coloring of the skin on the hat, as well as the color of the surface of the legs.

View nameLatinHat DescriptionLeg CharacteristicView Features
Red boletusLeccinum aurantiacumHemispherical, with tightly pressed to the leg edges, easily detachable and covered with red, orange or brown-red, smooth or slightly velvety skinSolid, grayish white, with longitudinal fibrous scalesThe cut flesh quickly turns blue and then blackens
Boletus red-brownLeccinum versipelleHemispherical, covered with dry orange-yellow or tan skinChunky, with a thickening in the lower part, white or grayish, with brown scalesThe flesh on the cut first turns pink and then turns blue
White aspenLeccinum percandidumHemispherical, covered with white or pinkish-white with a dark shade, dry skinTall, with club-shaped thickening in the lower part and dark fibrous scalesThe flesh on the cut first turns blue and then blackens
Red-headed OakLeccinum quercinumHemispherical, covered with brown with an orangeish tint, slightly dangling skinCylindrical, with a slight thickening at the base, covered with reddish scalesThe flesh on the cut becomes black
Boletus boletusLeccinum chromapesPinkish, convex or flattened in shape, dry and smoothSmooth, cylindrical, with flakes on the surfaceThe presence of a very dense white pulp

Photo gallery

Where to grow and when to collect

Most representatives of this genus form mycorrhiza with aspen. The exception is the red boletus, which has no preference in the choice of partner plants and is able to enter into symbiotic relations with almost any deciduous tree. Most often, this mushroom grows under aspens and poplars, and can also form mycorrhiza with oak, beech, and birch plantings.

In the dry period, boletus most often grows in areas with sufficient humidity. This popular tubular mushroom grows singly or in rare groups. Collect it from mid-June to October. Boletuses are characterized by fruiting in three waves. The most plentiful is the third wave, from mid-August to mid-September.

When collecting boletus, overgrown mushrooms should be left in the forest so as not to reduce the number of edible mushrooms, because the large fruit body of the boletus contains many spores. It is important to remember that the darkening mushroom flesh can accumulate toxic substances very quickly, which makes it necessary to process the collected boletus as quickly as possible.

Boletus: characteristic

Distinctive features of the false variety

False boletus as such does not occur in our forests. Most often, inexperienced mushroom pickers confuse the boletus with the inedible mushroom or mustard (Tylopilus felleus) that is quite common in our country. This species grows in conifers, which is not characteristic of most species of boletus.

The shape of the mustard and the boletus is very similar, and the main difference between the mushrooms is the mesh pattern on the leg. It should be remembered that Tylopilus felleus is an inedible, but not poisonous fungus. Its flesh even after prolonged heat treatment remains very bitter and unsuitable for consumption.

Cooking recipes

All types of boletus belong to the second category in terms of nutritional value, and have dense and elastic flesh with a slight acidity. Cooking boletus is easy and fast enough. Both first and second courses are prepared, as well as a filling for baking.

Soup with croutons

Mushroom soup with croutons is especially popular, for the preparation of which you will need ½ kg of boletus, a tablespoon of flour, four tablespoons of butter, herbs, pepper and salt to taste. The cooking process is simple:

  • collected boletus should be thoroughly cleaned of forest debris and washed;
  • prepared mushrooms must be cut into slices or strips and placed in boiling salted water;
  • wheat flour should be diluted with warm water, after which the mixture should be poured into the mushroom broth, adding butter.

To improve the taste and aroma, the soup needs to be insisted for 5-7 minutes, after which finely chopped greens are poured. Sour cream and croutons can be served with soup.

Boletus with potatoes

One of the most popular second mushroom dishes is fried boletus with potatoes. For cooking, you will need a kilogram of potatoes, about 55 g of dried mushrooms, a couple of onions, a couple of tablespoons of ghee, salt and fresh herbs to taste. The dish is prepared like this:

  • peeled and washed potatoes should be finely chopped;
  • fry the potatoes in a well-heated pan until a pleasant golden crust is formed;
  • pre-soaked mushrooms and chopped onions should be well fried in oil;
  • combine the fried onion-mushroom mixture with potatoes and salt to taste;
  • put in a well-heated oven and bring to full readiness.

This salad is very suitable for any salad of fresh or canned vegetables, as well as chopped fresh herbs.

Mushroom caviar

A worthy cold appetizer is mushroom caviar from fresh boletus, for the preparation of which you will need 0.25 kg of mushrooms, a pair of onion heads, four tablespoons of refined oil, as well as salt and ground pepper to taste. The cooking process includes the following steps:

  • boletus should be thoroughly cleaned of forest debris and washed several times;
  • chop coarsely clean mushrooms and boil for 45 minutes;
  • drain the mushroom broth and cool the mushrooms;
  • pass the chilled boletus through a meat grinder or chop in a blender;
  • add the onions fried to a golden color to the mushroom mass and mix the mushroom caviar well until a homogeneous consistency.

How to pickle boletus

Boletus is very often used for drying, pickling and pickling. For home preservation, it is recommended to select the strongest, not overgrown, young specimens. It is important to consider that mushrooms to be dried should be cleaned without using water. You can dry the boletus in the open air, but best of all - in special devices for drying vegetables and fruits or in a conventional oven. Pickled and salted mushrooms can be used not only as a separate dish, but also for preparing cold appetizers, as one of the ingredients of salads, vinaigrette or mushroom paste.


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