Purple laccarias are a mushroom I see on occasion. I have a couple different patches where I might see them during the late summer or early fall, but the patches can’t really be depended on to produce, and that’s ok. Don’t get me wrong, Laccaria’s are edible, beautiful, and completely fine to gather for the table, but the yield of what you get that’s edible is relatively poor. 99% of the time you’re going to want to throw away their stem and just cook the caps, since the stem is stringy and tough.
I find these growing in the fall when chickens and hens are fruiting, since they seem to like areas with white oak like chanterelles, and plenty of other mushrooms. Sometimes dozens, sometimes one or two, but they are easy to instantly identify with their whitish-cream cap and dark purple to light purple gills and of course, their very fibrous stem.
Unfortunately, these will lose their purple color no matter what when you cook them. You could treat these just like any mushrooms from the store, with the exception of eating their stem, as it is rather hard and tough. They have a pleasant mushroomy flavor, but aren’t anything crazy. Fine to add to a soup or stew, or casserole or a mix of other fall mushrooms. They are fun to find though, as is anything so colorful during the witching hour between fall colors and the onset of snow here in the Midwest.
They are great candidates for slicing thinly and drying. They can also be pickled, cooked or sauteed and frozen.
Here’s some great ways to use these, like I mentioned, I enjoy them occasionally in a blend of mushrooms. The wild mushrooms with garlic and parsley, and with breadcrumbs and chili would be a great place to start.