First principle of eating wild mushrooms (mycophagy): If you haven’t positively, absolutely identified it as an edible mushroom that you are familiar with, for heaven’s sake don’t eat it! If in doubt, throw it out.

Second thoughts will bring you to yourself as regards edibility: improper cooking, or personal differences cause most of the digestive upsets and some other problems from commonly eaten mushrooms. High among these are morels, chicken of the woods, aspen scabers, and honey mushrooms. Maturity of the mushrooms can make a difference; never eat the old, woody part of a chicken of the woods. Never eat raw mushrooms. Only eat a little of an edible that is new to you to gauge your personal reaction. Avoid mixing mushrooms in a dish; it makes identification of the problem dicey.

What is “edible” anyway? Depends a bit on your heritage: if you’re eastern European you will eat a lot of things that would horrify some English persons. Out of the estimated 5,000 species in Minnesota, likely about 2,000 are probably ‘edible’ in the larger sense, of which about 100 are good edibles, and 15 to 30 are commonly eaten.

Lastly, mushrooming is mostly a social event for a very good reason. The absolute best way to learn mushroom identification is foraying with a group that knows them and can answer your questions.

With those caveats, here are some recipes to continue your enjoyment. Most recent additions at the top:

Rösti – Bernese potato with Morels
Dryad’s Saddle with Fish Vera Cruz Style
Oyster Butt Mushroom Soup
Oyster Mushroom Risotto

Mushroom Caponata
Shiitake with Cucumbers and Fish
Chanterelle Biscuits with Chicken
Chanterelle Chicken and Rice
Spaghetti ala Carbonara con Lobster Mushroom
Lobster Mushroom with Courgettes
Scalloped Hedgehogs
Orange Lactarius with Potatoes and Pork Belly
Black and White Grits
Black Trumpets and Lamb Sausage Pizza
Nameko mushrooms
Blewits on their own
Blewits with Squash and Brussel Sprouts
Turkey Dressing

Chantarelle Asparagus Bake
Shiitake Stem and Asparagus Soup
Shiitake Immune-Strengthening Soup
Wine Caps with Leeks and Sausage
Mushroom Risotto
Black Trumpet and Squash Soup
Mushroom Lasagna
Mary’s Mushrooms with Wild Rice
Blue Oysters and Greens
Blewits and Raab

Shiitake Stem and Asparagus Soup

4 servings as a side or starter

When I dry shiitakes I cut out the stem; dried they are too tough. But there is a lot of flavor in them for soups. It’s easier to cut the stems into small pieces fresh then pop them into a bag in the freezer, or vacuum seal if you have a lot. The same principle works for the bottom portion of asparagus; I trim any dried or tough bottoms and freeze them for later. One later is this soup.

1 cup asparagus stem pieces
1 cup shiitake stems, diced
water to cover
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup shallots or mild onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups chicken stock
2 teaspoons fish sauce (optional)
1/4 cup diced firm white fish/shurimi (optional)
1/4 cup diced tofu

In a small pot, cover the shiitake stems and asparagus pieces with water, bring to a boil, and simmer for about 20 minutes until getting tender. Buzz up in a blender on lower speed. I like some fiber, but you can strain this if you like but you lose a lot.

In a larger pot, saute the shallot/onion over medium heat adding the garlic a few minutes later. Add the fish and tofu cubes. When the onions are translucent add the buzzed up shiitake/asparagus. Add the stock; I use the stock to rinse out the blender into the pan.

Bring to almost a simmer and give it a few minutes for the flavors to blend.

add a little grated fresh ginger
add soy sauce or a bit of pepper sauce at the table
add cooked corn kernels
add small amount of dices sweet red pepper
garnish with chopped onion tops or scallions

Chantarelle Asparagus Bake

Sheet pan dishes are recently the rage, so here’s one that occurred to me with chanterelles left in the freezer and fresh asparagus showing up at the markets. Not much of that in July when the chants show up fresh.

1/4+ lb asparagus, snapped
1/2 c+ chantarelles, bite size, fresh or frozen
1 lg garlic clove or 2 small, pressed
1/2 c corn meal
1/4 c- flour, all purpose
1/4 ts baking soda or powder
1 lg egg
1/4 c milk or kefir
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tb olive oil
swiss cheese to taste, grated

Snap the woody bottoms off the asparagus and save for soup!
If using frozen chanterelles, defrost. Cut in bite size pieces.
Mix the corn meal, flour, soda (use powder if using milk), egg, milk or kefir, and 1/2 T olive oil. The dough should be on the dry side, but if it looks too dry, add a little water.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Oil an 8×10 sheet pan and spread the cornbread in a 1/2″ layer; it can be away from the sides. Place the asparagus in a single layer across the top of the dough. Distribute the chanterelles over that. Using a garlic press or smash-and-mince method, distribute the tiny pieces of garlic over the top. I use an oil spritzer but you can dribble the rest of the olive oil over the top. Pop the pan in the oven for about 20 minutes until the cornbread is cooked through.
At the table, grate the cheese over the top and cut into serving pieces. Bon apatit!

Shiitake Immune-Strengthening Soup

This is truly a ‘feel good after’ meal. Credits to Leanora Rouse

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ jalapeño, seeds removed, green flesh minced [I substituted white pepper]
1–2 tablespoons ginger, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
2 green onions, chopped (both green and white sections, but keep separated)[used a leek]
1 lb (500 g) shiitake mushrooms, wiped of dirt and sliced [shii stem butts buzzed + dried]
2½ quarts (2 liters) either vegetable broth or bone broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Juice and zest of 2 lemons
1 block (14 oz/400 g) soft tofu, cut into cubes
2 cups carrots, shredded
Freshly ground pepper

In a stockpot over medium heat, heat oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Add minced jalapeño, ginger, garlic, and the white part of your green onions, and sauté until soft and smelling delicious. Add mushrooms and sauté another 2 minutes, until softened.

Add stock and soy sauce to the pan, bring to a simmer, and cook for about 5 to 10 minutes to allow the soup to reduce slightly.

Add lemon juice, tofu, and carrots and cook gently for a further 2 to 5 minutes. Season to taste with pepper.

Ladle soup into your favorite bowl, garnish with remaining green part of onions, and lemon zest, and eat wearing cozy socks. Feel better knowing your cells are happy!

Makes 8 servings.

Scalloped Hedgehogs

The gentle flavors of hedgehogs and potatoes combined with the smoky flavor of bacon make this an interesting dish.

4 medium red potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 pound hedgehog mushrooms, sliced (including stem)
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives or green onions
Paprika to taste
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
4 bacon slices, chopped

In a buttered casserole dish, place half of the sliced potatoes and the cream. Add the sliced hedgehogs and cover with the remaining potatoes. Cover and bake in a preheated 375º oven for 25 minutes. Add the chives, paprika, and milk. Sprinkle with the cheese and bacon. Return to the oven, uncovered this time, and bake at 375º for another 20 minutes.
Serves 4

Lobster Mushroom with Courgettes

Later in the summer we find lots of lobsters and have many zuccini; I pick them small, the size the French call courgettes. The two are made for each other.

1 cup Lobster mushroom sliced 1/2″
2 cups small zuccini sliced 3/4″ rounds
1/2 onion in large dice
1 Tbl oil
1/2 cup water or stock
1/2 tsp paprika
salt pepper to taste

Heat a pan and add the oil. Saute the mushroom, zukes, and onion on medium heat until they give up most of their moisture. Add the paprika and stir, then add the water. Cover, bring to a boil and reduce heat. Keep just above a simmer for about 10 minutes, until the water is mostly reduced.

Grate a bit of parmesean on the table if you like.

Serves 2.

Shiitake with Cucumbers and Fish

2 bn soba noodles or lo-mein
1 T vegetable oil
1 c shiitake, thinly sliced
2 filets barramundi, sea bass, or other mild white fish
2 md cucumber, peeled and juliened
1 lime, cut into wedges (optional)
1/4 c chopped mint leaves
1/4 c chopped cilantro leaves

For the sauce:
2 T sugar
1/4 c water
1 T lime juice
1 sm red chili pepper minced OR 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 T fish sauce (I like Red Boat 40N)
2 T vinegar, rice or white

Boil water and cook noodles for a few minutes; drain. The secret to getting soba non-sticky is not to cook too long and rinse.

Make the sauce: Heat the water and dissolve the sugar, stirring frequently. Let it cool and add lime juice, chili pepper, fish sauce and vinegar.

Slice the fish filets in 1/2″ vertical pieces in a single layer in a microwavable dish. This is easiest when they are partially thawed. Add half of the sauce.

Lay out the shiitake slices. If there is room, use the same dish as the fish.

Microwave fish and shiitakes on medium for two minutes or broil for about four minutes. Cover with half the sauce. Can be served warm or cool (not cold).

Assemble individual bowls by layering noodles, cucumber, fish and shiitake. Put a small pile of cilantro and mint at the sides of each bowl. Garnish with lime wedges if desired. Serve the rest of the sauce in a small bowl so people can help themselves to more.

Blewits and Raab

I have a greenhouse attached to my home and in Feb/Mar the broccoli raab I planted in late August is growing profusely. I also tried some straw bale gardening outside last year and thought…hmmm…blewits would do well in those. For those who haven’t tried a greenhouse, broccoli is an aphid magnet, raab not so much. So I had a nice crop of blewits to use fresh and freeze….the last of which are doing well in March. My sage plant that I transplanted into the greenhouse is also doing wonderfully. So….

1 c frozen blewits Lepista nuda, sliced before freezing
3+ c raab from the greenhouse (this can be grown in the garden, meant to bolt)
2 tbls olive oil
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 handfull fresh sage leaves, minced or 2 tbls dried, crushed
optional: 1 duck egg for each serving
1/2 cup cooked brown rice / person

Thaw and dry saute the blewits. Add oil, garlic, and sage and saute briefly. Add raab (the unflowered buds and soft stem/leaf) and stir fry for a couple minutes, until wilted.

Optional (but very good): whip a duck egg for each person and add to the pan.
Alternatively, add the cooked brown rice and quickly stir fry.

Serve hot with soy sauce on the side.

Blue Oysters and Greens

Having fun with the blue oysters I’m growing in the back of our shower enclosure! So…

adapted from

Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta al dente. Try to time this so it is ready with the sauce. Reserve some of the pasta water.

Mushrooms: Heat 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a saute pan until barely smoking. Add the mushrooms in a single layer. Season with salt. Sear on one side until golden brown then flip the mushrooms and add butter. Toss the mushrooms in the butter until they are golden brown. Remove the mushrooms to a plate.

Sauce: Reduce to medium heat and add olive oil and the red onions. When the onions soften add the garlic, a pinch of red pepper flakes and fresh cracked black pepper. Cook for 30 seconds to a minute then ladle in about 4 ounces of pasta water. Add the mushrooms to the sauce and add butter as wanted. Add the greens to the sauce. Over medium heat toss the rigatoni with the sauce until the sauce becomes slightly thick and clings to the noodle and the greens are wilted/cooked. If the sauce seems dry, add some of the reserved pasta water. Add olive oil if you like. Transfer to shallow bowls and grate a generous amount of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese over the pasta. Bon apetit.

Blewits with Squash, Brussel Sprouts, and Sage

2 cups Brussels sprouts, larger sprouts cut in half
2 cups kabocha squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
3 ounces fresh blewit mushrooms, cleaned, caps 1/4rd
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh sage, sliced
1 tablespoon shallot, diced 1/4 inch
1/2 c flavorless oil, plus 1 T butter for finishing

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, then add half of the oil to one large 10 inch saute pan. Add the squash to the pan, then cook on medium heat for a few minutes, stirring occasionally to coat them with oil. Season the squash, then put the pan in the oven and roast the squash for 5 minutes. Take the pan out of the oven, move the squash to one side and put the brussels sprouts in the pan with the squash, cut side down. Add a little more oil if the squash soaked up too much. Put the pan back in the oven and cook for another five minutes. Meanwhile, heat another pan with the remaining 1/4 cup of oil until lightly smoking, then cook the blewits until browned and nicely colored, about 3-4 minutes. Season the blewits with salt and pepper to taste. Add the blewits, shallots, sage, and butter to the pan with the squash and sprouts, then, cook until the shallots are translucent, about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season the mixture to taste with salt and pepper, then serve immediately.


Nameko mushrooms are orange, round and gilled; they are roughly one to one and a half inches in diameter. The mushrooms grow in small clusters and have a natural gelatin that coats the coppery tops. Light yellow or white gills line the underbelly of the cap. The cap of the Nameko mushroom can open and flare out as the mushroom matures. These Japanese mushrooms have a mellow earthy flavor with hints of cashew.

Nameko mushrooms, scientifically known as Pholiota nameko, are one of the most popular mushrooms in Japan falling just behind Shiitake mushrooms. They are cultivated and sold commercially, and are a staple in miso soups in Asia.

Nutritional Value
Nameko mushrooms are a good source of vitamins including thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin, and minerals including calcium, potassium and sodium.

The somewhat slimy texture of the Nameko mushrooms is what makes it so popular among the Japanese. Known as Namerako in Japanese, it literally translates to “slimy mushroom”. The glutinous covering on the caps acts as a natural thickener and has been used in miso soup in Japan for centuries; it is unnoticeable after cooking. Mix with wild mushrooms and top pastas or pizzas. Nameko mushrooms are a nice compliment to dark green vegetables, red meats, and shallot. In Japan, Nameko mushrooms are rolled into sushi. Nameko mushrooms can be stored in the refrigerator, wrapped in a paper towel, for a few days.

Ethnic/Cultural Info
In Asia, Nameko mushrooms are known for their medicinal properties. They are thought to increase resistance to staff infections.

Nameko mushrooms have been growing in the hardwood oak and beech forests of Asia for centuries. Also known as Forest Namekos for their flavor and growing environment, they are sometimes referred to as ‘butterscotch mushrooms’ in the US. The mushroom is cultivated in Southern California and can be found organically grown.

Miso Soup with Nameko Mushrooms
Serves 4 as a first course

Dashi is a broth made from the sea vegetable kombu, collected from the icy coastal waters of the islands of Japan. It may be purchased in Asian or natural foods stores as a dehydrated powdered broth. Traditionally, miso is made from fermented soy beans with combinations of grains. Red miso is usually made with rice. Mixed with nameko mushrooms, this soup is delicious.

3 cups water
About 1 tablespoon dashi powder
3-1/2 tablespoons red miso
1/2 cup diced tofu (optional)
One 7-ounce can nameko mushrooms

Heat the water in a large saucepan and add 1 tablespoon dashi powder, or the amount required to make 4 cups of dashi (see the instructions on the dashi powder container).

In a small bowl, liquefy the miso with 3 to 4 tablespoons of the dashi water, then mix with the remainder of the dashi water in the saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil and immediately add the tofu and the nameko mushrooms with their liquid. After a half minute or so, when the broth is heated almost to the boiling point, the soup is ready to be served. Do not overcook.

Spaghetti alla Carbonara con Lobster Mushroom

1 pound spaghetti
1/2 pound lobster mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
a few strips bacon or pork (optional)
1 cup freshly and finely-grated pecorino romano (or parmesean)
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup frozen green peas or other green
4 eggs, beaten (optional)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons finely-chopped Italian parsley
freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
sea salt, to taste

Cook the pasta in salted water until almost al dente, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid.

In a saute pan fry the bacon until crisp (optional). Reduce to medium heat and add the butter. When bubbling add the lobster mushrooms plus black pepper and sea salt to taste. Saute at least until the mushrooms release their liquid and cook, the longer the better. Add the garlic and more black pepper to taste. Saute just until aromatic, about 30 seconds.

Add the pasta, green peas, and the reserved cooking liquid to the pan. Cook one minute, shaking to mix the ingredients. Add the pecorino romano and more black pepper to taste, stirring to coat the pasta.

Remove the pan from heat. Add the beaten eggs, whisking vigorously until thickened but not scrambled.

Serve immediately, garnished with the chopped parsley.

Mushroom Caponata

6 cups oyster mushrooms, chopped in 3/8” dice
1 onion, diced small
5 cloves garlic
3 cups tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tablespoon honey
1/4 cup mint leaves, chopped
1/2 cup capers, drained
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup olive oil

Saute mushrooms in T oil until browned but not dried adding olive oil as needed
Add onion and oil if needed and cook soft. Add garlic, then salt and tomatoes and cook down.
When thick sauce, add balsamic to deglaze and add the honey. Remove from heat.
Stir in capers and remaining olive oil, then the mint. Adjust salt and pepper.  Use as a condiment or add a bit more olive oil for on pasta.
modified from Chad Hyatt

Mary’s Mushrooms and Wild Rice

1 C mushrooms
2 Tbsp butter
2 C beef stock
1 minced onion
1/2 C wild rice
1 C long grain rice
2 Tblsp parsley

Slice mushrooms. Saute with onions in butter 5 minutes. Bring beef stock to a boil. Add wild rice and mushroom mixture. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes. Add long grain rice. Bring to a boil then reduce heat. Cover and simmer 20 minutes or until done. Add parsley.

Chanterelle Biscuits with Chicken

1 shallot or small onion, minced
2 T butter
1 c chanterelles, or more, chopped in pieces
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 1/2 c flour, white or half WW
1/2 c milk (I used kefir)
1 chicken breast cut in 9 pieces

Sauté the shallot/onion briefly in the butter and add the mushrooms until most of the liquid has evaporated.

In a mixing bowl, mix the baking powder, baking soda, and salt with the flour. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and slowly pour in the milk, blending the mixture into a sticky dough. Quickly mix the mushroom mixture into the dough. Do not overmix.

Arrange the chicken on a buttered baking sheet and cover them with spoonfulls of the biscuit mix.  Bake 15 to 20 minutes in a preheated 400º oven, or until the biscuits are golden brown. Makes 9 biscuits.

Karen says “this is among the thirty or so recipes in the top ten.”

Dryad’s Saddle with Fish Vera Cruz Style

Went looking for morels and all you found was Dryad’s Saddle? I’ve always considered this mushroom as marginally edible until I tried it this way. I’m a convert.

oil for sautéing, minimal
1/2 c Onion; thinly sliced
2 Garlic cloves; minced, fresh
1 c Bell pepper; red, thinly sliced
1/2 c Celery; thinly sliced
1/4 c Olives; green pimento stuffed, sliced
2 tb Jalapeño pepper or equivalent
1 tb Capers
1 cn Tomatoes; stewed, or 3 md chopped tomatoes, drained
1/4 ts Fennel seeds or fennel weed
6 Barramundi fillets 4 ounces each *
2 c Dryad’s Saddle (Polyporus squamosus) mushroom pieces **

* Suggested Alternates; Rockfish, Lingcod, White Sea Bass
** Use just the outer, tender pieces: bend the edge back until it breaks and pull the upper pileus off, somewhat like with asparagus.

Soak the mushroom pieces in water with a dash of lemon juice for a half hour. Drain and discard the water.

Heat a 2 qt pot medium high. Add onions and garlic and mushroom pieces; sauté until just tender. Add the red pepper, celery, pimento stuffed olives, jalapeño pepper and capers; reduce heat and sauté for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add tomatoes and fennel; cook, uncovered for 15 minutes.

Add the fish fillets. Spoon vegetable mixture evenly over fillets. Bake at 400F or continue sauteing for 15 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Transfer to a serving platter.

6 servings    Careful not to overcook the fish. Serve with rice. A slice of lime would be nice. Black beans?

Mushroom Powder – Theresa Kenney, WMS

3 ounces “dried” Shitake or Porcini Mushrooms (Porcini’s have stronger flavor)
1/2 cup Himalayan Sea Salt [<i>sic</i> this seems like an awful lot to me; I would use a couple tablespoons GK]
1 tablespoon chili pepper flakes (optional if you don’t like the heat)
2 Tablespoons dried Thyme
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

Add all the ingredients to a food processor and pulse/process until they’re ground into a fine
powder. Store in an airtight container, where it will keep for several months.

What can you use it for? Well that’s up to you, you can use it in soups, butters, cream cheese, or
bake it into a bread recipe. Your imagination is the only thing that will limit you.

Mushroom Lasagna

There was a lot of interest in a recipe for the Mushroom Lasagna served at the last pot luck in Bemidji. It was essentially just mushrooms (I used a mixture of lion’s mane, shiitake, and portabella) in a mornay sauce. Pretty simple to do, yours will most likely be better, it suffered some from drying out after reheating. Here’s a recipe similar to what was served. – Doug Gilbertson

Butter, for greasing the baking dish 

5 tablespoons unsalted butter 
1/2 cup all-purpose flour 
4 cups warm whole milk 
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Gruyere cheese 
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese
Pinch ground nutmeg  
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus extra, as needed 
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, plus more, as needed 

3 tablespoons olive oil 
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature 
1 medium onion, chopped 
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus extra, as needed 
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning 
3 cloves garlic, minced 
1 1/2 pounds assorted mushrooms, such as cremini, shiitake and button, quartered 
 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves 
lasagna noodles 
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Gruyere cheese 
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Parmesan 
Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking dish. Set aside. 

Sauce: In a 2-quart saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Gradually add the warm milk, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the sauce is thick and smooth, about 8 minutes (do not allow the mixture to boil). Remove the pan from the heat and add the cheeses and nutmeg. Stir until the cheeses have melted and the sauce is smooth. Add  1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. 

Filling: In a large skillet, heat the oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper, to taste, and cook, stirring frequently until soft, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms, and thyme and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are golden and the liquid has evaporated, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper.

Bolete Risotto

Although Boletus edulis, the group called the king bolete, may be a urban/rural myth in these parts, we find very edible boletes that fit the pattern. At the August foray, we found many lovely boletes with a reddish-brown, spherical cap, yellow turning olive, non-staining pores, and lightly reticulated, equal or tapering to the base stems that fit Bessette’s description of Boletus spadiceus var. spadiceus; it’s had several synonyms: Xerocomus spadiceus, Boletus ferrugineus (but not velvety). I’ve heard it called B. subclavipes also. Obviously, much work remains to be done….  It is quite edible! One can always fry them up with butter on toast, but there may be a higher use this time of year when the garden is full of summer squash and green beans.

1 to 2 cups fresh boltes in bite size pieces
1/2 cup sweet onion, diced
1 cup summer squash, diced
1/2 cup green beans, 1″ pieces
1 to 2 T olive oil
1 cup arborio rice (other kinds may be used, adjust stock accordingly)
2 to 3 cup chicken or other stock
1/2 cup white wine
salt and pepper to taste (less if using commercial chicken stock powder)

Clean and dice the mushrooms and vegetables; I try to get them about the same size. Heat a heavy two quart pot to medium low heat and add the oil as it’s heating; you can use some butter at the finish if you like that flavor. Add the onions first and saute until clear, then add the mushrooms and the vegetables. Increase the heat to medium and continue to stir occasionally until they are giving up their moisture, then add the rice (arborio or white work better as brown rice takes quite a bit longer so that the other ingredients fall apart).

When the rice is coated with the oil/moisture, add about a 1/2 cup of stock, stir and wait until most of the stock is absorbed, then add another 1/2 cup, stir, wait, stir. Repeat this process until the rice is cooked al dente (if you like it like that) and all or most of the stock is used up. Pretty labor intensive, but worth it. Serve with a grating of parmesean, with a Chardonay or Reisling if you like. Serves 2 well or 4 with a salad and desert. One might add some diced chicken if you want meat.

Wine Caps with Leeks and Sausage

Wine cap stropharias are large, easy-to-recognize gilled mushrooms that sometimes come up in astounding quantities in the same wood chip habitats week after week every spring and fall. Considered choice, they’re mediocre sautéed with garlic and onions. Instead, a minimal amount of oil, plenty of lemon juice, wine (they are wine-caps, after all), nutmeg, and fennel make them excel.

2-4 c sliced wine cap mushrooms
1 leek washed and sliced crosswise
1 ts butter
1/4 lb sausage, bite size pieces (optional, italian is nice)
1 garlic clove, or scapes, chopped (optional)
fresh ground pepper and salt to taste
1/2 ts fennel seed, crushed
2 ts rosemary, fresh, minced
1/2 c white wine
2 ts dry roux (flour, milk powder, pepper, salt, savory)
nutmeg (a good grating)
pasta (enough for two)
grated parmesan (optional)

Start the pasta water. Saute the leek and wine caps in a teaspoon of butter and the fennel, rosemary until wilted. Season with pepper and salt.

Start the pasta cooking. Make a space in the middle and brown the sausage if used. Add the roux to the wine and whisk together. Add to the pan and cook over low heat until thickened.
Reduce heat and grate the nutmeg over the pan. Arrange the pasta on plates. Add the mushroom saute on top. Grate Parmesan cheese on top if desired.  Guten appatit!

Chanterelle Chicken and Rice

1 lg chicken breast, or two small
1/2    onion, sweet sliced in thin wedges
1 c  frozen chanterelles or 2 fresh
1    garlic clove, peeled and sliced
1 t  thyme, fresh or 1/2 t dried
2 T  olive oil
1 c  brown rice
1 1/2 c water
1/4 c  white wine
1/2 t  corn starch
pn red pepper flakes
salt & pepper to taste

I used frozen chanterelles that were microwaved to blanch and vacuum sealed; this leaves liquid in the bag, which I drained for the sauce. If not available, use a 1/4 c stock if needed.

Cut the chicken in serving size pieces (four from a large breast). Stick a knife in several places and insert a slice of garlic. Sprinkle the thyme on top and let marinade for 1/2 hour, covered.

Spread the onion wedges across the bottom of a baking pan and spread the chanterelles on top. Drizzle half the olive oil over this. Salt and pepper sparingly. Then place the chicken pieces on top and use the rest of the oil on top. Sprinkle a pinch of red pepper flakes over the chicken and salt and pepper sparingly. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the rice, preferably in a rice cooker until the bottom is just starting to brown.

Whisk the cornstarch into the reserved chanterelle liquid or stock and white wine.

When the chicken is cooked, pour the liquid over the chicken pan; if the sauce doesn’t begin to thicken, you may need to pop it back into the oven for a couple minutes. Serve over rice with a vege side like green beans. Makes 2 servings.

Fresh Oyster Mushroom Soup

When you have oysters, you usually have lots so you are drying some. But what to do with the tougher bit by the attachment which does not reconstitute well? Or cook well fresh. Here’s an option.

1 or 2 cups oyster ‘butts’ (works with caps, too)
1 cup oyster mushrooms, diced large
2 to 3 T lardons or bacon pieces
2 large green onions
2 T olive oil
2 garlic cloves
2 stalks celery with greens or celery root core
1 large carrot, shredded
4 cups water or stock
2 T flour
1/2 cup double-milk or half & half or 1/4 c white wine
salt and pepper to taste

When preparing oysters for drying, remove any dirt or bark, then cut out the tough ‘butt’ attachment and save these to a pot. Cover with water and boil for ten minutes and let cool some. Buzz up in a blender until almost smooth. Set aside.

Saute the lardons/bacon and chopped white part of the onions along with the diced oysters (not the butts) in oil until starting to brown. Add the celery, garlic, carrot and chopped onion greens and saute a few more minutes. Add the water/stock and bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes.

Whisk the flour into the wine/milk and add to the pot along with the blended mushrooms. Bring to a boil and simmer a few minutes. Let cool a bit before serving. Reheats well.  Serves 4 as a main dish with toast.

Oyster Mushroom Risotto

I like this recipe because it concentrates the flavors and when you have oysters, it’s usually a lot of them. And they have an incredible amount of moisture and tolerate long cooking. Lardons are a bounty for those of us who smoke our own bacon; they are cubes of the ends and odd pieces that do not do well as slices, and thus are supercharged with the flavors of the spices and smoking.

1/2 cup lardons or 2 slices bacon cut in pieces
2 green onions or 1/2 onion, chopped
1 to 2 cups oyster mushrooms, diced large
a clove or two of garlic, sliced (optional)
2 T olive oil
1 cup arborio rice
3 cups chicken or other stock, kept hot

In a heavy pot, saute the bacon and mushrooms over medium heat until the bacon is no longer white. Add the white parts of the green onions and saute. Add oil if necessary.
Add the rice and a little oil and heat until the rice begins to brown a bit.
Crush the garlic with the side of a knife and chop roughly; add this and the chopped onion tops to the pot and stir.
Add a half cup of the stock and stir. When the moisture is mostly gone, add another 1/2 cup. Repeat until the stock is used up and the rice is soft.
Serve up with a grind of parmesean and a side of greens. Bon apatit.

Rösti – Bernese potato with morels

Very Swiss (metric of course!) Serves 5
900g raw potatoes, roughly grated
80g onions,
chopped morels to your liking, (I like to use the small size or chop the large ones)
50 g “lardons” – smoked lean bacon chunks
50g butter
salt, pepper, chives and parsley, chopped

Sweat the lardons, morels and onions in the butter. Add the grated potatoes and some of the herbs. Stir well and season. Spread the mixture over the bottom of the pan (like a pancake) and cook each side until brown. Sprinkle with the remaining chives and parsley. (Can also be served on its own or with bratwurst.)

Black Trumpet and Lamb Sausage Pizza

Still got some dried trumpets left? Try this pleaser.

For the crust:
1 t  Dry yeast
1 c  Warm water
1 t  Honey
2 1/4 c  Flour (I use mixture white bread flour and whole wheat)
2 tb Olive oil
1/2 ts Kosher salt
Dissolve yeast in warm water with sweetener.  Let stand till yeast starts to foam. Combine flour, proofed yeast, 1 T oil, and salt. Knead to make a medium stiff dough. Oil a large pizzapan and sprinkle with cornmeal. Press dough into a disc and, using the second T of oil spread to edges of pan. Let dough rise (1/2 to 1 hour). Prebake dough for 5 minutes at 350F till the gluten sets. Remove from oven.

1/4 lb lamb sausage or ground lamb, in bits
2    garlic cloves, sliced
1 t  orgegano or several fresh branches
1/2 c  black trumpets, dried, reconstitued
1/4 c  black olives, sliced
1 c  swiss or mozarella cheese, grated coarsely

After prebaking, spread garlic, oregano, trumpets, sausage and olives and bake for 5 minutes at 375. Then top with cheese and pop back in the oven for about 15 minutes, until the crust and cheese are beginning to brown.

We toasted some kale leaves sprayed with oil and a little salt for a vege instead of salad.

Mushroom Risotto

Posted by mushpep of the Ohio Mushroom Society
Yield 6 servings

5 cups chicken or vegetable broth, divided
1 cup warm water
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 pound white button mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/2 ounce dried Porcini
2 shallots, diced
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
sea salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 tablespoons finely chopped chives
4 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Bring Porcini and 1 cup water to boil in a saucepan. Simmer for 5 minutes and transfer Porcini with a slotted spoon to a cutting board.
Add broth to the Porcini liquid in sauce pan and just bring to a boil. Lower heat to simmer and keep warm.
Chop porcini mushrooms. Warm 2 tablespoons olive oil in deep large skillet on medium heat. Stir in Portobello and button mushrooms and cook until soft (3 minutes). Add Porcini and cook 2 minutes. Remove mushrooms and liquid and set aside.

Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to skillet and add the shallots. Cook for 1 minute and add the rice. Stir rice for 2 minutes to coat with oil.


When the rice turns a pale golden color pour in the wine and stir continuously until the rice absorbs the wine. Add 1/2 cup of broth and stir until the broth is absorbed. Repeat with remaining broth until all of the broth is absorbed and the rice is neither crunchy nor too soft (al dente), about 15 minutes.

Remove from heat. Stir in mushrooms with liquid, butter, chives and cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

Stew of Lactarius with Potatoes and Pork Belly

Chad Hyatt is a professional chef and avid mushroomer in Santa Cruz, CA. I attended a demonstration at a foray there and was impressed (portobello and blueberry ice cream, mushroom leather made with Suilus,…). He shares on his Facebook Chad’s Wild Mushroom Lab    Something we in Minnesota have a lot in late summer are the orange Lactarius which in Europe are Lactarius deliciousus but L. salminacola in my part of the world but maybe L. thyinos if you have cedars. This recipe would probably do well with most edible Lactarius. Chad gives this one a Spanish character which I have edited for this format.

Orange milk caps
pork belly or thick bacon
fingerling potatoes cut in bite size pieces
onion, minced
salt and paprika to taste
garlic crushed with parsley
parsley garnish

Sear off the pork belly, cooking it dry on a medium flame. Use the rendered fat to cook everything else that follows. Set the belly bits aside and add them back to the stew at the end. You could just as easily do this with thick cut bacon.

Add the Lactarius to the fat that rendered out from the pork belly and slowly cook until browned, then set aside while the sofrito cooks.

The sofrito: Set the mushrooms aside and slowly cook down a good amount of onion. When well cooked, but not browned, add back the mushrooms, stir in the potatoes, and season well with salt and pimenton de la vera (real Spanish paprika). The pimenton’s mild smoky flavor penetrates everything, giving the whole dish great depth, and the whole house a beautiful smell.

Make a picada  by crushing garlic and parsley into a paste.  Stir the picada into the pan after adding the potatoes and mushrooms to the sofrito. Deglaze the pan with a generous amount of white wine. Add enough water to cover the ingredients, and simmer until the potatoes are soft. At this point, add the crispy pork belly back to the stew and adjust the seasoning.

Garnish with parsley for color and serve with toasted crusty bread.

Turkey Dressing with Wild Mushrooms

3/4 cup hot water
1/2 ounce dried wild mushrooms*
1/2 cup butter
1/2 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps sliced
1/2 pound button mushrooms, sliced (optional)
3/4 cups chopped leeks (white and pale green parts only)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 tablespoon thyme leaves
8 ounce French-bread baguette, halved lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1 egg, beaten

Combine water and dried mushrooms in small bowl. Let stand until mushrooms soften, about 30 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer mushrooms to work surface; chop finely. Pour mushroom soaking liquid into small bowl, leaving any sediment behind, and reserve.
Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add shiitake and button mushrooms; sauté 10 minutes. Add leeks and garlic; sauté 5 minutes. Add wine, thyme, and wild mushrooms. Cook until almost all wine evaporates, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Transfer mixture to very large bowl.
Mix bread into mushroom mixture. Season with salt and pepper; mix in egg.

Generously butter baking dish and spoon stuffing into prepared dish. Cover dish with foil. Bake stuffing in dish until heated through, about 25 minutes. Uncover stuffing in dish. Bake until top of stuffing is slightly crisp and golden. Makes about six servings.

Comment: For the two of us, we only roast the turkey breast saving the rest for other meals. Then there is room for the dressing in the same pan when the turkey is half done, soaking up all the juices.

* dried porcini, Suillus granulatus, black trumpets,…most full-flavored-when-dried mushrooms.

Squash Soup with Black Trumpets

New York Times
Serves 4, 2 hours

OK, so fresh is no longer a concept, but you still have some dried black trumpets. Here’s something great you can do with them.

1 large buttercup or kabocha squash
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
4 Tbsp butter
1 clove garlic
2 leeks – cleaned well and chopped
1 small jalapeno, seeded and diced (optional)
1 tsp cumin
4 cups stock
1/2 cup light cream (opt.)
salt and ground white pepper to taste
4 oz black trumpet mushrooms, washed and halved OR 1 cup dried, reconstituted with wine

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cut squash in half and remove seeds. Place squash halves cut-side down on a foil-lined baking sheet, and bake until collapsed and caramelized, about an hour. Toast the pumpkin seeds in a small dry sauté pan over medium-high heat until they start to pop up and brown lightly. Set aside.

In a heavy soup pot, melt 2 Tbsp. butter over medium heat. Add garlic, leeks and jalapeño and cook, stirring until softened but not browned, 10-15 minutes. Add cumin and salt to taste. Scrape flesh from baked squash and add to pot. Add stock and bring to simmer. Cook 15 minutes, until everything is very soft. Carefully transfer to blender, and puree until smooth. Return pot over very low heat. Stir in cream [or not]. Season with pepper and salt if needed (if your stock was unsalted).

In a sauté pan, melt remaining butter over medium heat. Add black trumpets and salt. Cook, stirring, until tender, about 10 minutes.

To serve, divide mushrooms among serving bowls. Ladle soup over. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and serve.

Black and White Grits

adapted from the New York Times
Serves 4-6; 1 hour

1-1/2 cups milk
pn salt
3/4 cup grits, not instant (in MN you may have to use white corn meal)
4 ounces fresh black trumpet mushrooms (or equivalent dried reconstituted)
2 Tbsp. butter
clove garlic, minced
4 ounces taleggio or asiago, cut into chunks
dash hot red pepper sauce (optional)
black pepper to taste, freshly ground

Place milk in a large heavy saucepan, and add salt and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil. While whisking constantly, slowly add grits. Lower heat and simmer, stirring until grits are thickened and taste cooked.

While grits cook, wash mushrooms, drain and squeeze dry. Coarsely chop. Melt butter in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook 1 to 2 minutes, then add mushrooms. Sauté about 10 minutes.

When grits are cooked, mix in cheese. Season with hot sauce, pepper and more salt if desired. Stir in mushrooms. Leftovers can be formed into a 3/4″ slab for later browning to reuse.

Works for breakfast, but with a turkey roast and winter squash would make a great meal.

Blewits, Shallots & Tarragon

1 Cup blewits per person, quartered if large, halved or whole if small
1 tsp shallot
Pinch of tarragon
Knob of butter (vegans omit butter)
Oil for cooking, such as grapeseed or canola

Begin by heating a cast iron or teflon pan. Dry saute until some of the moisture is released. Add the oil. When the mushrooms are lightly colored, add the shallots, salt, then the tarragon and cook for a minute or two to take the “raw” flavor of them away. Finish with the butter.

Alternatives: Add 3 T of good white wine or vermouth and cook down. Or stir in freshly cooked orzo pasta and some pasta water as needed to help thicken. Salt to taste. Blewits seem to generate a thick sauce themselves unlike other mushrooms.