Here are some great wild mushroom recipes to take your wild delicacies to a new level of culinary delight. These simple and fun recipes are all ones I have personally enjoyed and I hope you will find them to your taste.
The king of mushrooms, arguably, is the porcini (also known as king boletus, steinpilz, etc.) and it is often involved in some of the best wild mushroom dishes you can find. Making a gravy out of porcini involves a few steps. After acquiring some dried mushrooms (about 1 cup dried) you must first separate the tubes (the reproductive surface) from the rest of the mushroom. This is the portion of the mushroom that is generally darker and found underneath the cap. Break off all of the tubes into a small bowl and grind them into a powder.
Second, take all of the remaining dried porcini mushroom slices and rehydrate them in a bowl of warm water. I generally leave them to rehydrate overnight for any of the wild mushroom recipes involving porcinis. Third, once they are fully rehydrated you can start making the gravy base. In a small pan, add some water (2 cups) and bring to a boil. Add a piece of bay leaf. Cool to simmer, and add the powdered tubes of the porcini. The finer you powder them, the better. Let them simmer for about 10 minutes. Make sure to stir, so they do not clump.
Then, add in your rehydrated porcini slices to the pan. Also add pinches of the following: sea salt, black pepper, paprika, and oregano. Add a tablespoon or two of flour of your choice (gluten-free bread flours can work well too). Now, continue simmering this mixture until the rehydrated mushroom pieces are soft (usually about 20-30 minutes). Be sure to stir regularly.
Finally, in the last few minutes of the process you can add some cream.
The key to making this gravy successfully is to make sure you mix it properly, stir and gradually heat everything. The thickness of your gravy will depend on how long you cook it, as well as how much cream and flour you put in. You can add more flour if you are not happy with the thickness. Be sure to adjust according to your taste using more or less spices.
Proportions for this gravy are as follows:
- 1 cup dried porcini
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoons of sea salt, black pepper, oregano and paprika
- 1/2 bay leaf
- 1/4 cup cream
- 1-2 table spoons flour
Another great use of porcinis in wild mushroom recipes is in the form of fried mushroom baguettes. The trick is to get fresh porcinis from the wild or a farmer's market. Dried ones won't cut it here.
After cleaning your porcinis with a brush (never wash them) you need to slice them. I prefer to make my slices thicker, so that the mushrooms don't get as mushy. Next, slice some onions, tomatoes and cheese thinly. Also cut up some parsley to add fresh at the end. Toast a baguette (or bread of your choice). About 1/3 of a baguette would be an ideal serving size.
Then add some butter or high heat oil (grapeseed or sesame oil is great) to a pan and warm on low-low medium. If you are using butter, be careful to not burn it or everything will taste like burnt butter. Once the pan and oil/butter is warm, add your onion and fresh porcini slices. Cook at low-medium heat. Keep the mushroom and onion slices moving regularly, so they do not stick. After 1 or 2 minutes, add the tomato slices. The whole cooking process should be between 5-8 minutes in the pan. Take the pan off the heat and serve the contents on the toasted baguette. Add some of the diced parsley and thin cheese slices and enjoy!
The trick to this is not over cooking the mushrooms. Be careful with the cooking heat here or you will burn/overcook your ingredients.
The proportions for the ingredients are as follows:
- 1 porcini (a small one would be plenty)
- 1/2 of a medium-sized onion
- 1 full-size tomato
- 1 handful of parsley
- 1 baguette (or toasted bread of choice)
- 1 tablespoon of high heat oil or butter
This might be the simplest of wild mushroom recipes, but also a delicious one. It requires fresh shaggy mane mushrooms, which generally need to be wild harvested but do occasionally show up at farmer's markets as well.
First, clean your shaggy manes with a soft brush or briefly rinse. Cook about 2 cups of white rice (Basmati or Jasmine are a good choice). When the rice is done, start on the mushrooms. Slice them thickly (1/4 inch thick) and place them in a pan without any oil. Cook them on low heat for few minutes, and watch closely. They should start releasing their liquid and changing to a slightly darker color. Don't cook this liquid off, instead add a mild tasting oil or a small amount of butter. Once the oil or butter are thoroughly mixed in, add a pinch of salt. Then, toss the rice on top of the mushrooms in the pan and mix again.
Now it is ready to serve. You can add some fresh greens like diced parsley to the mix. The dish should be very flavorful, but you can always adjust with spices to taste.
This rice dish can be eaten by itself, but is even better as a side dish to a larger meal such as a stir-fry or a curry dish.
The proportions of ingredients are as follows:
- 1-2 pounds of shaggy manes (fresh)
- 1-2 cups of white rice (basmati or jasmine)
- 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
- 1 tablespoon of mild oil or butter
- handful of diced parsley
- addition of other spices (black pepper, coriander, paprika, or oregano)
I hope you enjoy these wild mushroom recipes. Feel free to experiment to make your own versions!
By the way, when you're out foraging for wild plants and mushrooms, it's important to know how to stay safe in the outdoors, especially if you were to get lost. Right now you can get a free copy of our mini survival guide here, where you'll discover six key strategies for outdoor emergencies, plus often-overlooked survival tips.
The Complete Mushroom Hunter, Revised by Gary Lincoff
Learn foraging skills and more wild mushroom recipes at Alderleaf's Wild Mushroom Identification Class.
Additional Alderleaf Articles on Mushrooms:
About the Author: Filip Tkaczyk is a periodic guest teacher at Alderleaf. He also wrote the field guide Tracks & Sign of Reptiles & Amphibians. Learn more about Filip Tkaczyk.