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Clitocybe nuda

The word blewit is an Old English contraction for "blue hat." The blewit is a medium-sized purple blue--capped mushroom with gills and stem of the same color. It drops pale-lilac spores. The cap fades to gray-brown with time. When young, the stem is fleshy and bulblike. The blewit has a clean and unique odor, varying according to where it has grown. Its scientific name has been changed so many times in the past fifteen years that many mushroom hunters have decided to use the old common name of blewit--which hasn't changed in hundreds of years.

Blewit -- Click for larger image

This purple-colored mushroom commonly grows in rings in open areas and under a variety of trees, including Monterey cypresses, acacias, oaks, and eucalyptuses. Those found under eucalyptus trees may have a disagreeable odor and taste when cooked. Young firm mushrooms are the most desirable.

The size and shape of Tricholoma flavovirens (formerly named equestre), a yellow forest mushroom with a sticky cap commonly called "man on horseback," is similar to the blewit, and, after peeling the cap, it is cleaned and cooked by mushroom enthusiasts in the same manner as the blewit. These mushrooms make a very pleasant dish when cooked with chicken broth and onions. Their flavor and texture are retained well after cooking.


Trim bases of any matted material. Brush the caps and stems with a little water, and drain on paper towels. Discard caps clearly invaded by insect larvae, and trim the affected parts. Insects are as fond of blewits as we are.


This mushroom sautés beautifully. Sour cream combines with blewits especially well. Young caps are excellent pickled or marinated, after having been cooked.

Blewits have the unique ability of retaining their purple-blue hue after cooking. This offers the chef an opportunity to create a dinner using exciting color contrasts. For instance, a soufflé prepared with blewits sliced lengthwise and thin zucchini rounds produces an appetizing color and taste combination. A lovely purple aspic can be prepared from this attractive mushroom. Blewits are tasty prepared as duxelles.


Sauté in butter and freeze. Dried blewits lose much of their flavor. Blewits can also be pickled whole, if small, or sliced and kept in the refrigerator for that special unannounced guest.

Jellied Blewit Soup

Serves 4 as a first course

A delightful dark-purple jellied soup to serve on a summer day.

  • 1 pound blewits, chopped
  • 4-1/2 to 5 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 envelope (1 tablespoon) plain gelatin
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • Créme fraîche or sour cream
  • Minced fresh chives

In a large saucepan, simmer the mushrooms in 4-1/2 cups of chicken broth for 30 minutes. Strain through cheesecloth in a bowl, pressing the pulp to extract all the liquid. Discard the pulp.

Measure the liquid and add more broth if necessary to make 4 cups. Add the sherry and salt, and pepper to taste. Soften the gelatin in the cold water. Allow it to stand for 5 minutes. Return the soup to the saucepan, bring to a boil, and stir in the gelatin. Pour into individual soup cups and chill in the refrigerator until it jells ( 4 to 5 hours). Top with a spoonful of créme fraîche and sprinkle with the chives.

--Kitchen Magic with Mushrooms

Blewits and Peas

Serves 4 as a side dish

Mint adds an aromatic quality to peas and blewits.

  • 4 shallots or green onions, minced
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pound blewits, diced
  • 1 pound fresh peas or thawed frozen green peas
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 teaspoons minced fresh mint

In a sauté pan or skillet, sauté the shallots in the butter until translucent. Add the blewits and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the peas and chicken broth, and cook for 6 to 7 minutes. Add the salt, pepper, and mint. Cook for another few minutes or until the peas are tender.

--Kitchen Magic with Mushrooms

ALTERNATE MUSHROOMS: Common Store Mushroom, Shaggy Parasol Mushroom

Blewits and Tofu

Serves 3 to 4 as a side dish

A blend of tofu, blewits, and ginger that will add color and unusual taste to your meal.

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 blewits, sliced
  • One 1/4-inch slice fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 pound firm tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes

Melt the butter in a sauté pan or skillet. Add the blewits and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes or until the blewits are tender. Add the ginger, soy sauce, and tofu. Simmer and stir for a few minutes. Serve on brown rice.

--Karen Edith and John Lennie

ALTERNATE MUSHROOMS: Common Store Mushroom, Shiitake

Chicken with Blewits and Apple Cider

Serves 4 as a main course

A tangy main course that combines blewits and vegetables with chicken, apple cider, and Calvados.

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon mild vegetable oil
  • One 2-1/2-pound chicken, cut into serving pieces
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 12 small blewits
  • 2 tablespoons Calvados
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 8 small onions
  • 12 baby carrots
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 egg yolks

Melt the butter with the oil in a large sauté pan or skillet. Sauté the chicken pieces until lightly golden. Season with salt and pepper and add the chopped onion and blewits. Sauté about 3 minutes more. Add the Calvados, a rather expensive apple brandy from France, and apple cider, cover tightly, and cook over low heat for about 30 minutes. With a slotted spoon remove the chicken, onion, and mushrooms to a warm platter and keep warm in the oven.

Steam the small onions and carrots separately in a steamer until they are just tender; set aside. Slowly stir the cream into the sauté pan or skillet and bring to a boil. Add the yolks by first stirring some hot cream into them, then stir this mixture into the pan, using a whisk and stirring briskly. Simmer, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.

Arrange the steamed vegetables on top of the mushrooms, onions, and chicken. Pour the sauce over all and serve immediately.

--Roma M. Wagner

ALTERNATE MUSHROOM: Common Store Mushroom

Fillet of Sole with Blewit Duxelles

Serves 4 as a main course

Here is an opportunity to use duxelles in a mildly flavored dish.

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons minced green onions
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1-1/2 cups milk, warmed
  • 1/2 cup rich chicken broth
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • Dash of Tabasco sauce
  • Pinch of dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup duxelles
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 8 sole fillets
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon safflower oil
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

In a heavy saucepan, melt the butter and cook the onions until translucent. Mix in the flour and stir until golden. Slowly add the milk, chicken broth, white pepper, Tabasco, and thyme. Whisk until smooth and thick. Add the duxelles and stir in well. Slowly add the cream and blend well.

Cut each sole fillet in half. In a sauté pan or skillet, lightly brown the fish on both sides in the butter and oil over medium heat. Place a generous tablespoon of sauce in each dish. Place 2 pieces of the browned sole on the sauce. Top with more sauce and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of Parmesan cheese.

Place under a preheated broiler until the sauce is bubbling and the top is brown.

--Kitchen Magic with Mushrooms

ALTERNATE MUSHROOMS: Black Saddle Mushroom, Common Store Mushroom