In case you weren't aware, it's Chanterelle season in the Pacific Northwest. Lucky for me, I live about 10 minutes away from The Evergreen State College where there is prime real estate for mushroom hunting. Last week Christine and I went into the woods, refusing to emerge until we were loaded down with fungi...
About 10 minutes in, and zero mushrooms in our packs, Christine said something like, "no mushroom is worth this." Fast forward an hour and she was a hunting expert. See, mushroom hunting isn't really about the mushrooms for us. Sure, chanterelles are super tasty and rather pricey. The sisters love a bargain, but what we love more is collecting. It doesn't really matter what we're collecting--give us a task of organizing, gathering, rounding up, hoarding, etc. Whatever you want to call it, the OCD in us lives for moments like this. Mushroom hunting is like a little treasure hunt in the woods, but instead of stupid clues and a prize at the end, you get savory treats each and every time.
It does take some work to get the mushrooms clean. You pluck them right from the dirt and there are lots of pine needles, bugs, and all those other foresty things. The mushrooms in the picture above had been cleaned (and Christine is a little particular about getting almost everything off of them).
Peanut and Genevieve seemed to be excited that we were doing stuff all afternoon, but they weren't really fans on the mushrooms. Too earthy for their taste.
This is totally Genevieve's "Ew, gross, no face."
We made a pizza with some of the chanterelles, and it was tasty, but it really couldn't compare to the feast Christine cooked up the next day. She made some ravioli from scratch.
Care to copy? (Trust me, you want to)
2 C flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
Make a little flour well with the liquid in the middle. Gradually incorporate them together. Knead for 7 or 8 minutes until the dough is nice and soft. Let the dough sit in a bowl and rest for 20 minutes. Roll out the dough as thin as you can on a floured service. Cut the dough into ravioli. Fill with stuffing. Wet the edges, removing the air, and press the two sides together. Drop into salted, boiling water and cook until they float at the top.
Fresh chives, diced.
Rainbow chard, diced and sauteed.
Salt & pepper.
Honey goat cheese.
Mix all these together and use as the ravioli stuffing.
We roasted the chanterelles in the oven, then tossed in a pan with a little butter and salt. The chanterelles were served on top of the ravioli and they were d.f'ing.licious.
We're probably going to go collect some more. We found a great spot that still had lots leftover.
And my mom is going to get in on the next mushroom hoarding...I mean, hunting session.