Wild Mushrooms for your Plate

Information on Wild Mushrooms

Wild mushrooms are probably just about the only wild food that most people ever regularly buy and cook with. And all this without actually being aware that they are actually using wild foods in the first place! Almost all dried mushrooms are wild in origin (think cep, porcini, chanterelle and morels, to name but a few.

If you've bought a packet of fresh wild mushrooms then you have also bought and cooked with wild-harvested mushrooms.

Of course, you may have collected some mushrooms in the wild an the likelihood is that you collected field mushrooms (indeed, many people only consider field mushrooms to be edible). But this can severely limit your foraging and culinary enjoyment.

Below are the names of several fungal species that you can use in your foraging and this includes links to identification guides for the mushrooms (the site I'm linking to also has several recipes).

Cep (Boletus edulis)
Chanterelle (Cantharellus cibarius)
Jew's Ear Fungus (Auricularia auricula-judae)
Field Mushroom (Agaricus campestris)
Horse Mushroom (Agaricus arvensis)
Morel (Morchella esculenta)
St Georges Mushroom (Calocybe gambosa)

To get you in the culinary mood, here's a recipe for a dish that can incorporate a whole range of wild mushrooms (any of the ones above and any shop-bought ones).

Grilled Salmon in Red Wine and Wild Mushroom Sauce

2 salmon fillets
200ml red wine
2 large shallots, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
200ml fish or veal stock
50g wild mushrooms (eg procini, chanterelle, cep, fairy ring champignon), chopped
1 tbsp butter
2 tsp chopped parsley
salt and black pepper

Add the red wine, shallots and garlic to a pan. Bring to a boil and cook until the wine has reduced to 50ml then add the stock and chopped mushrooms. Continue cooking until the sauce reduces to a syrupy consistency.

Warm a grill to medium, brush both sides of the fish with oil then season liberally. Place under he grill skin-side uppermost and cook for 10 minutes, or until the skin is coloured a light brown. Turn over and cook for 2 minutes on the other side.

When he sauce has reduced to a syrupy consistency stir-in the butter and chopped parsley, season and pour onto a warmed plate. Arrange the salmon on top, skin side up and serve with boiled, minted, potatoes or herbed rice or polenta.

You can also get more recipes for wild Spring mushrooms on these pages:
Amazing Spring Mushrooms
wild spring mushroom recipes

If this information has wheted your appetite then you can find far more mushroom recipes at the  Mushroom Recipes page. If you want to make the most of wild foods and how to cook them then you really do need to check out the Wild Food Recipes guide pages.