Mushrooms were my gateway to the world of wild food. Over the years as a Chef in Twin Cities kitchens the mushrooms would just show up, and being taught to cook with them was on the job training. It wasn’t long until I started to look for them outside of the kitchen, since I already knew what I was looking for.
I found a world of new, complex seasons, layered on one another other. I wanted to be able to walk into the woods anytime and come out with a basket to cook, so I bought all the books I could and studied them when I wasn’t at the stove. I still study those books.
Most guides and sites are pretty formal and written in science speak when they describe mushrooms, since I’m a chef, not a scientist, I leave that to them. I’ve tried to make accessible profiles of mushroom species that I hope can be helpful as a culinary companion to your field guides. These are not meant to be authoritative, but attempt to explain mushroom hunting, and my opinions on it in words that newcomers could understand better.
Online, I saw a lack of recipes that celebrated certain mushrooms, or took into account alternative ways to preserve them than drying. You can search this website by individual species, learn some new species it might be fun to find, or start with recipes in 3 general categories:
Nothing helps me celebrate a new mushroom season like picking some young buttons and trowing them into a pan.
The off season. Time to use the dried mushrooms from that legendary hunt.
Drying is only one way to preserve your haul. Browse my selection of shelf-stable pickles, marinades, and other methods, these types of preserves are the best way to keep the texture of fresh mushrooms, and their just as good served warm as they are cold, if not better.