I found this little gem of a porcini mushroom yesterday in the Santa Barbara area. After consulting my mushroom books, I think it is a pale version of boletus edulis, the fabled porcini. It is not common in the Santa Barbara area but commercial quantities have been found this year in the northern part of Santa Barbara county. Porcini tend to get maggots so always check for "tunnels." Always consult an expert when hunting wild mushroom for consumption. There is an old say, "There are old mushroom hunters, there are bold mushroom hunters but there are no old-bold mushroom hunters."
On of my favorite methods of preparation is to wash and slice the mushrooms. I sauté sliced shallots and a little garlic in butter, add the mushrooms, salt and freshly ground pepper and cook them until they are slightly browned then finish with chopped parsley and a little, very little, lemon juice or white wine. Serve with brioche toast, in a puff pastry shell or on pasta.
From Wikipedia, "Prized as an ingredient in various foods, B. edulis is an edible mushroom held in high regard in many cuisines, and is commonly prepared and eaten in soups, pasta, or risotto. The mushroom is low in fat and digestible carbohydrates, and high in protein, vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre. Although it is sold commercially, it has not been successfully grown in cultivation. Available fresh in autumn in Central, Southern and Northern Europe, it is most often dried, packaged and distributed worldwide. Keeping its flavour after drying, it is then reconstituted and used in cooking. Boletus edulis is one of the few fungi that are sold pickled. The fungus also produces a variety of organic compounds with a diverse spectrum of biological activity, including the steroid derivative ergosterol, a sugar binding protein, antiviral compounds, antioxidants, and phytochelatins, which give the organism resistance to toxic heavy metals."