Russula crustosa

AKA the green quilt russula

Well this isn’t quite the season, but last month’s column was about morels. So I decided to write about one of my favorites.

Russulas in general get little respect. When they are brought in for identification most mycologists look for something else to ID. There just doesn’t seem to be anyone who really cares about them. This is really a shame because the green quilt is a prime candidate for the kitchen. It is in fact one of my all time favorites to eat.

Beginning in July and ending about first frost the green quilt is fairly common in the open woodlands. Look under the trees on the ground, in some areas the green quilt is more often tan than green, but both are edible and quite good. If you make a mistake I don’t think it is a huge issue. I don’t know of any poisonous green russulas, however the others are less valuable as a culinary ingredient. My favorite meal with the green quilt is very simple. Just slice & sauté with some finely chopped garlic, salt & pepper in some really good olive oil and toss with linguine and some parmesan. A bottle of wine & a loaf of crusty bread make a meal fit for a king.

Lincoff lists the green quilt as “…found in large quantities after August rains.”, but I have never found more than I could use at once. I strongly suspect that drying would be the preservation method of choice if you ever hit the jackpot and believe me once you try them you’ll want to try them again and again.

I know, I know, April is morel month so just get out there & find them. Just remember the green quilt for later, it’s really worth it!

Happy, many morels to all

Steve Peek
Field mycologist and long standing member of the Asheville Mushroom 

(Images by: Olga K)

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