With rain, comes mushroom. This morning I stopped by our neighborhood farmers market and found a bountiful of locally foraged wild mushrooms: chanterelles, black trumpets, lobsters, cauliflowers, and king bolettes, also known as porcini mushrooms.
I also found this little girl putting on a beautiful smile which instantly brights up an otherwise wet and greyish Sunday.
Given that it rains a lot in this part of the Pacific Northwest, we can almost ‘harvest’ mushrooms all year round. With proper knowledge and education, you can go foraging on you own. Last year I went with a guide to the Olympic Peninsula, we didn’t have to venture far into the woods to get a bagful of fragrant chanterelles. But admittedly, I prefer to stay warm and dry, so I get mine from this stand at the farmers market.
Cantharellus cibarius, commonly known as the chanterelle, golden chanterelle or girolle, is a fungus. It is probably the best known species of the genusCantharellus, if not the entire family of Cantharellaceae. It is orange or yellow, meaty and funnel-shaped. On the lower surface, underneath the smooth cap, it has gill-like ridges that run almost all the way down its stipe, which tapers down seamlessly from the cap. It emits a fruity aroma, reminiscent of apricots and a mildly peppery taste (hence its German name, Pfifferling) and is considered an excellent edible mushroom.
With chanterelle mushrooms, I prefer to prepare them the simplest ways: sauté and omelette.
Sautéed Chanterelle Mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 ounces fresh chanterelle mushrooms, quartered if large
- 1 teaspoon minced shallot
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh flat-leafed parsley leaves
Melt butter with oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms; sauté until lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Add shallot and garlic; sauté 2 minutes longer. Toss with chopped parsley leaves and season with salt and pepper.
Chanterelle Mushroom Omelette with Herbs
Recipe courtesy of Forager Chef
- 1 large egg, beaten until smooth with a tablespoon water
- 1 Tsbp Creme fraiche or sour cream
- 1 tsp chopped fresh fines herbes- (Equal parts: Tarragon, Parsley, Chives, Chervil-slice the chives individually, chop the other herbs together, then mix all when finished)
- 1.5 ounces fresh chanterelles (about a small handful if you don’t have a digital scale)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp grapeseed oil, or other searing oil like vegetable, or canola
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- Clean the chanterelles by holding them individually by their stems, swhish them lightly in cold water, then allow them to drain until thoroughly dry on towels. Very clean chanterelles may simply be brushed without washing.
- Whisk together the eggs, chopped herbs, and sour cream or creme fraiche.
- Heat the oil in a small cast iron skillet or a small teflon pan. (I used a small six inch cast iron with 2 inch sides). When the oil is hot and just begins to smoke, add the drained and completely dry chanterelles to the pan, cooking in the oil until they are lightly caramelized and golden, about 2-3 minutes.
- Season the chanterelles to taste with salt and pepper, then add the butter and melt.
- Add the egg mixture to the pan, let this cook for 30 seconds, stirring occasionally to form soft curds which should only lightly envelop the chanterelles, keeping them visible and not hidden under egg.
- When the egg mixture begins to coagulate, then turn the heat off of the pan and allow the eggs to set with the residual heat of the pan.
- Finish the omelet by seasoning with a touch of fine salt like kosher or flaked salt and serve immediately.
Speaking of omelett, I like mine the classic French way
Classic French Omlette
Recipe courtesy of Jacques Pépin
- 3 large eggs
- freshly ground pepper
- dash of kosher salt
- fresh herbs: chive, tarragon, chervile and parsley
Using a fork, beat the eggs, salt and pepper in a bowl until thoroughly mixed. Heat butter in an 8-inch, nonstick skillet until hot and the foaming has subsided. Pour the egg mixture into the center of the pan and cook over medium heat, allowing the eggs to set and curl at the edges. Then, with the tines of your fork, stir the eggs so the runny part fills the areas between the set curds. When most of the eggs are set but still slightly liquid inside, the omelet is ready. Fold the omelet in half. The outside should have a nice brown color. Invert onto a plate, garnish with chives and serve immediately.
Mushrooms are a great source of protein, copper, potassium, zinc, selenium and B vitamins. They are also a great source of dietary fiber and are low in both saturated and unsaturated fat. Super delicious and very easy to make. So instead of consuming processed meat, why not add a little bit of mushrooms to your diet. It’s good for you.