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Cooking North of Seattle

Wild Mushrooms

The Pacific Northwest offers an ideal climate for the proliferation of wild mushrooms. Damp moist forest areas, sunny fields, fruit orchards, the opportunities for finding mushrooms abound. Finding and identifying wild mushrooms can be done just about any time of the year, although the best time tends to be during the late summer and throughout fall. However, some delicious, and sought after species like morels (Morchella sp.), are often found in springtime in their preferred habitats. Read about the preferences of your local edible mushroom species in a local field guide. It helps to know about the species you want to find before you start looking for them. Here is a link to a great site filled with useful information on finding wild mushrooms here in the Seattle area:

Once you go out and find your wild mushrooms you are going to want to come home and cook them up. I have collected several great recipes that use wild mushrooms - mostly chanterelles because they are readily available up here. You can easily replace the chanterelles with whatever mushrooms you find. Try Mushroom Ragout with Paprika as a great accompaniment to a grilled steak or try this take on a traditional cream of mushroom soup made with wild mushrooms: Cream of Chanterelle Mushroom Soup. Wild Rice and Chanterelle Soup is a hearty soup that is ideal for a chilly autumn day. Creamy Chanterelle Pasta is a perfect one-dish meal. Mushrooms, pasta, and green peas in a creamy sauce that will have you forgetting that there is no meat in the dish. Or try Wild Mushroom Bread Pudding. I love bread pudding, sweet or savory, and this is a delicious side-dish. Crusty outside, creamy inside, it is the perfect accompaniment to a roasted chicken.

A Pile of Fresh Chanterelles

Get out there, find those mushrooms, then come home and cook local!


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