What is it?
The name “chanterelle” is actually an umbrella term for several species of wild mushrooms found in and around Missouri from mid-June through mid-August. You’ll know them by their distinctive hue, ranging from buttery yellow to deep peach, and funneled, flower-like shape. Chanterelles are at once fruity and peppery; sniff them, and you’ll swear you smell apricots. If you find them, use them fast: They’ll keep for up to 10 days refrigerated in a paper bag.
What do I do with them?
Mushrooms don’t need a lot done to them, and chanterelles are no exception. Lightly sauté them with butter, oil and herbs and serve alongside grilled meats, in pasta, rice or grain dishes, in salads or folded into an omelet. Their eye-catching shape makes them an ideal topping for a tartine or garnish for wild mushroom soup.
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It’s the perfect time of year to get out there and see what you can find. Do your research before you go, however; do note that edible mushrooms almost always have imposters – “false chanterelles” – just waiting to make you sick. Talk to a forager or farmer who knows their way around mushroom species so you know what to look for and what to avoid. If you like the great indoors more, visit your farmers' market, keep checking well-stocked market shelves for chanterelles all summer or ask the produce manager to find out if they plan to stock them.
Visit your local forager or farmers' market to find chanterelles for this easy, versatile recipe.
If you want to be able to enjoy chanterelles the rest of the year, try making a simple conserva. This technique preserves the mushrooms in olive oil for up to six months.