Untamed Mushrooms: From Field to Table
Take a wander in woods and over fields with experienced mushroom hunters and, if your luck holds, safely bring home a wild harvest to cook and savor at the table.
- Author: Michael Karns, Photography by Dennis Becker, Author Lisa Golden Schroeder
- Publisher: MNHS Press (April 2018)
- Format: Paperback, 324 pages, 150 color photos, 100 recipes, index, bibliography, 8x10 inches
- ISBN: 9781681340869
Step into nature, whether in a park, forest, prairie, or lakeland, and you are surrounded by edible wild foods—if you know where to look. Old traditions of foraging have seen a passionate resurgence of interest among Minnesota chefs and home cooks intrigued by the vitality of foods growing just footsteps—or a healthy hike—from their doors. But many hesitate over collecting wild mushrooms: How do you know which ones are okay to eat? And once you do, how should you prepare them?
Untamed Mushrooms opens up the field, explaining how to seek, find, and cook wild mushrooms. Gorgeous full-color photographs and expert guidance unspool the vagaries of locating mushrooms in the wild and safely harvesting them for your table. Featuring twelve delicious mushrooms celebrated in over one hundred unique kitchen-tested recipes, this book is a guide to truly spectacular seasonal eating. Once you’ve arrived home with your woodland bounty, try Grilled Lake Trout with a Mess of Morels, Corn and Chanterelle Calabacitas with Spicy Shrimp, Grilled Pizzas with Black Trumpets, Game Hens with Creamy Maitake Pasta, or Porcini-Dusted Chicken with a Wild Mushroom Farrotto. You and your guests may well declare that “untamed” is simply another word for “delicious.”
Michael Karns is a photographer and design professional as well as a certified mycological identification expert whose forest discoveries are served in Twin Cities restaurants.
Dennis Becker is a commercial food photographer who has worked on staff at General Mills and whose work has appeared in national magazines and on product packaging. His photojournalistic blog, with Lisa Golden Schroeder, is 2fish1dish.com.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
BUTTER-BRAISED SPRING ASPARAGUS & MORELS
Makes 4 servings
1 pound fresh asparagus spears
½ cup butter, divided
½ pound fresh Morel mushrooms, halved if large
½ small red onion, cut into thin slivers
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon grated lemon zest
¼ cup torn or roughly chopped fresh dill, tarragon, lovage, or chervil, plus some whole leaves
1. Snap off the tough bottoms of the asparagus spears. If using large, thick asparagus peel the lower ends with a vegetable peeler. Set aside.
2. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a wide skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and red onion; season with salt and pepper. Sauté about 6 minutes or until just tender. Remove to a bowl.
3. Melt remaining 6 tablespoons butter in skillet; add asparagus in a single layer and season with salt and pepper. Add ½ cup water, cover, and bring to a simmer. Cook about 3 minutes or until the asparagus is firm-tender and still bright green.
4. Remove asparagus from pan and arrange on a serving platter.
5. Increase heat to high under the skillet; simmer briskly about 1 minute or until pan juices are reduced. Stir in lemon juice and zest. Turn off heat; stir in torn herbs.
6. Spoon Morels and red onion over the asparagus, along with the pan juices. Scatter a few fresh herb leaves on top.