hen of the woods

This is my largest skillet and it's pretty much full of hen of the woods mushrooms. This was a great haul.
This is my largest skillet and it’s pretty much full of hen of the woods mushrooms. This was a great haul.

This year has been great for wild mushrooms, and even now as we enter autumn, a favorite among mushroom lovers is ready for picking. I’m talking about hen-of-the-woods, ram’s head, sheep’s head, maitake, signorina, grifola frondosa, the king of mushrooms some say. This mushroom is highly valued in traditional medicine, but it’s also very tasty and versatile in the kitchen.

In the past two weeks I have foraged around 5 pounds of grifola frondosa. The first day we had them with ham, collard greens and smoked gouda. I also made a creamy mushroom soup a few days later. And the leftover cream of mushroom I used to flavor a rice and chicken casserole—better than Campbell’s!

The rest I pickled in a simple solution of vinegar, water, and salt. I also used a little fresh thyme and a green onion from the garden. My philosophy on pickling is keep it simple, so that whatever you’re preserving can be as versatile as possible when you later use it in a dish.

Mushrooms are a great addition to any meal: fun to work with and even more fun if you are able to forage them yourself.

Buen provecho!

3 jars of pickled mushrooms. Pickling is a good way to preserve this wild mushroom harvest. I go light on the seasonings because I want to be able to use a variety of seasonings when I eventually cook with these mushrooms.
Pickling is a good way to preserve this wild mushroom harvest. I go light on the seasonings because I want to be able to use a variety of seasonings when I eventually cook with these mushrooms.
A bowl of mushroom soup, topped with croutons fried in olive oil just as my grandma used to do
Puree of mushroom soup, topped with croutons fried in olive oil just as my grandma used to do
Advertisements

Leave a Comment