Small, fragile, and petite, yellowfoot chanterelles also known as cantharellus tubaeformis, are a great mushroom to collect for the table.
Where I pick these in Minnesota, they like to grow in wet areas, typically near oaks-the same places you might find black trumpets, so if you know a place where trumpets grow, make sure to look around the area for yellow feet too. Hunting around small ponds and areas that hold moisture are really your best bet for these, they really like it damp, and wet. Since they’re mycorhizal too, they will come back year after year in the exact same places, rain permitting. I don’t usually find them in mass quantities, but I know that in the Pacific Northwest they can be picked in large numbers.
Flavor wise these are great, they have a sweet aroma like a golden chanterelle, but a structure that’s similar to a black trumpet, with their hollow stem and thin flesh.
You’ll need to find a bunch of these to make a meal, since when they hit a pan they wilt quickly and cook down, but their flavor makes up for that, as well as the fact that they dry easily. They’re a great addition to any sort of broth or stock, and of course, like most mushrooms their flavor is amplified by cooking them with cream.
When I find these, I typically dry them for future use, since if they were picked in an area that was sandy or after a rain, they will be dirty, and cleaning them with a brush is liable to just break them apart without getting them clean at all. If you dry them though, their structure tightens up a bit, and swishing them around in some of their reconstituting liquid will allow you to remove all of the grit, no problem.
These can also be pickled, but I would make sure to use a mild flavored pickling liquid, without sugar. Another great way to enjoy them is a conserve, which is something in between a marinade and a pickle. Here’s a basic method:
Yellowfoot Chanterelle Conserve
This is just a basic outline. You can add less vinegar if you are going to use the mushrooms quickly. Experiment with different herbs, etc, and make your own version.
Yield: 1 cup of preserved mushrooms
- 1/2 lb Yellowfoot chanterelles
- Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 clove garlic, sliced thinly
- 1/4 cup mild flavored oil, like grapeseed
- A few small sprigs of fresh herbs, like thyme or savory
- 1/4 cup vinegar, such as champagne or white wine
- 1/4 cup water
- Clean the chanterelles by rinsing or dunking them quickly in cold water if needed, and then drying them on paper towels to weep excess water. Heat the oil and garlic in a wide saute pan, (a 10 inch size will be fine) cook the garlic for a minute or two until aromatic, then add the herbs and mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook until the mushrooms are wilted. Add the vinegar and water and heat through. Double check the seasoning of the liquid and make sure it tastes good.
- Transfer the mushrooms to a container, label, date, and reserve until needed, covering them with the juice left in the pan.
- Place some plastic wrap on top of the mushrooms and press it down to keep them under the liquid. The mushrooms will keep for a very long time if kept under the vinegar liquid, I have held them for a year or more, if made and stored correctly.