Most of my friends know that I like to forage for edible wild mushrooms, and from time to time I’m asked about the best ways to cook them. There’s no short answer to that question, and really it depends on what kind of mushrooms you have and if they’re fresh or dried.
For really choice mushrooms, like chanterelles or hedgehogs, sometimes I like to keep it simple. Try frying them up in a little olive oil or butter, season simply with salt and pepper and serve them on a bed of toast. Or, fry them up and fold them into an omelet. Keep it simple and let the taste of your wild bounty carry the day.
There are many other ways to prepare your wild mushrooms. Last weekend the forest was generous and I came home with a full basket containing a variety of specimens. Here’s what I made.
Heat up a large cast iron pan with some olive oil and add in a small onion chopped up and some shallots from the garden and a clove of garlic and let it cook for a few minutes. Chop up lots of fresh wild mushrooms – I used a mixture of chanterelles, hedgehogs, lobster mushrooms and a couple ornate boletes. Add in the mushrooms and stir them around for another few minutes. Then add in some chick peas. I used canned ones, and I think they’re fine. I think you could use just about any bean you like and it would be great. I happened to have some dried porcini in the cupboard, so I reconstituted a bunch of them in water, and when soft, added them in with the chick peas. While the mixture cooks, chop up a few plum tomatoes and toss them in, and finally, roughly grate a handful of sharp cheese. Add the cheese, stir the whole business around quickly and enjoy.