A golden buttery yellow, chanterelle mushrooms are the most common edible wild mushroom around the globe. They have a very unique flavour compared to other mushrooms. Chanterelles are slightly fruity and can even have a hint of apricot or peach flavour, without the sweetness, of course.
If you come across a wild chanterelle patch, take care to harvest them correctly. If you do, that same patch will produce multiple crops. The volume of the harvest will depend on environmental and weather factors, especially moisture.
Along with being tasty, chanterelles have mighty nutritional benefits. They’re high in vitamin C and potassium and are one of the few food sources high in vitamin D. Before consuming, clean chanterelles thoroughly with a brush. Wipe any debris away from cap, stem and gills. You can wash chanterelles if necessary—but do NOT soak them. Just run them under a thin stream of water then let them dry on a cloth or paper towel.
When chanterelles are available, eating them fresh is best. You can have them raw, but I advise cooking them, and I advise cooking them in the simplest way possible that will retain the most of their natural flavour. Start by sautéing a small amount of shallots or garlic in extra virgin olive oil or butter. Add in chanterelles—taking care not to crowd—and continue to sauté. Towards the end, add a splash of white or red wine. Plate and top with finely chopped flat leaf parsley, salt and pepper.
A cream soup made with chanterelles is truly heaven. As are cream- or oil-based sauces that can be used for pasta, meat or poultry. Enjoy chanterelles as a stuffing for a chicken breast or beef rouladen. They’re even really delicious in a delicate risotto.
To keep chanterelles, you can A) sauté and freeze or B) let them dehydrate naturally and store in an air tight container. When you want to use dried chanterelles, rehydrate them in hot water. But be sure to use the mushrooms AND the water in whatever you’re cooking.
Think pickling, too! However, please can with caution. Follow a specific canning recipe you know and trust or take a class. Preserving mushrooms through canning can be dangerous if not done properly.
Now that it’s fall and cooler weather is upon us, Antonio is crafting recipes for comfort. To test out Antonio’s creative recipes, pick up one or more of Choices’ Wellness Guides or go online at choicesmarkets.com.