I cannot wait! I have wanted to attend a Wild Edibles class at Shaw Nature Reserve for years now. Each time I’ve tried to register, the class has been wait-listed (apparently I am not the only wild edibles geek). Well, this year I got a spot!
I already know a bit about foraging for edibles, trying to learn as I go. Last week, on a walk with a friend in the park we came across a few of these:
Giant Puffball (on left), friends foot (on right)Which I happily threw into the mix for dinner.
…I’m still contemplating what to do with 'em- got any ideas?
Just like other great finds at the market, when picking up more than can be enjoyed fresh, we try to find a way to preserve the goodness. In the case of wild mushrooms, dehydrating is usually the way to go. Most mushrooms have a high water content so when they are dried, they really condense down and concentrate the flavor. A food dehydrator such as this comes in handy:
Then, when its time to make something dandy that calls for mushrooms, simply rehydrate by soaking in hot water for a few minutes.
And when making a soup or sauce such as Salmon with Wild Mushroom Sauce there’s a bonus: the liquid becomes a rich mushroom broth that can also be used. The rehydrated mushrooms and its broth deepen the flavor of the sauce, adding an extra layer of earthiness, so perfect for fall.
You certainly do not have to forage for mushrooms to make this dish. Dried mushroom medleys can be found in many markets, usually in small cellophane packaging.
Salmon with Wild Mushroom Sauce (recipe inspiration from Eating Well Magazine, Nov/Dec '10)
- 1 ounce dried mushroom blend (porcini, shiitake, oyster, chanterelle, morel, or any mixture you can find)
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- 2 tsp. cornstarch
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1/4 cup onion, minced finely
- 1/4 cup red wine
- 1 cup beef or vegetable stock
- 1 tsp. butter
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 pound salmon fillet, in 3-4 portions
- Pour boiling water over dried mushrooms, allow to soak about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, add oil to skillet, saute onion for about 3 minutes until translucent. Add in stock and wine, allow sauce to reduce, about 5 minutes.
- When mushroom have rehydrated, strain out mushrooms, chop mushrooms into smaller pieces, and add to cooked onion mixture.
- Whisk corn starch into reserved mushroom liquid, then slowly add to skillet with onion mushroom mixture. Allow sauce to thicken; add in butter, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.
- In a separate skillet, heat 1 Tbsp. oil, add salmon and cook until just cooked through, 3-5 minutes per side. Serve with warmed mushroom sauce.