One of my new favorite items to forage for is chantrelles. This convex shaped, yellow to orange yellow mushroom can grow to be 1-10 inches across at the cap. When they are fresh picked, they have a delicious sweet scent, almost like apricots. The stalk is smooth, has no bulb around the base or ring and will be the same color as the cap.
Due to their mycorrhizal relationship with trees, look for chantrelles on the ground, usually near some sort of hardwood (oaks, conifers, etc.). Chanterelles can also be found in mountainous birch forests and among grasses and low–growing herbs. Chanterelles are also “stringy.” You can peel a wedge of cap from the mushroom off all the way down to the end, like string cheese. Chantrelle mushroom gills are “false gills” that appear like forked folds and are not easily removed from the cap. They may look “melted” into the mushroom, and may also run down the stem.
Lookalikes: Chanterelle identification is done by a few factors:
* True chanterelle mushroom is uniform in a yellow egg yolk color. False chanterelle is more orange in hue and may have a darker center.
*A false chanterelle mushroom will have a hollow stem.
* Omphalotus (jack o lantern mushroom) are commonly misidentified as chanterelles, but are identified by their gills. Jack O Lanterns will have a well–developed, obviously forked gills.
* Jack o’lanterns will grow in large groups, and the stems are attached. Chanterelles are usually solitary or in a small bunch, and the stems are separate.
* Chantrelles will give off a white to light yellow spore print.
Where do chanterelles grow? Most often found in the Western United States, up to Alaska. You may also find them at a local grocery store, but the chanterelle price will be high, especially if it’s been shipped a long way. Chanterelle mushroom season is commonly mid summer to late fall.
Chanterelles are fat soluble, so they are perfect for sauteeing in oil or butter. Perfect chanterelle recipes are using them as a burger replacement, or in a quiche for breakfast.
Chanterelle Mushroom Quiche
- 12 eggs
- ½ cup milk
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup shredded mozzrella cheese
- 2 cups chopped chanterelle mushrroms, cleaned
- in a medium sized bowl, crack the eggs.
- Preaheat oven to 350
- Add the milk and whisk together thoroughly. Set aside
- In a hot cast iron skillet, or othr oven proof skillet, melt the butter.
- Add onions, garlic, salt and pepper and mushrroms.
- Sauté for 5 minutes
- Pour egg and milk mixture over the veggies.
- Sprinkle with cheese.
- Place in oven and allow to bake for 45 minutes.
- Serve immedately.
Have you ever foraged for chanterelle mushrooms? What was your favorite recipe for them? Be sure to pin this for later!