Chanterelle season is here!

We’ve been enjoying chanterelles from our forest for the past week or so. They should be in season until about the end of August, depending on the weather. Sometimes later, but they get hard to spot because they blend in with the yellow leaves of autumn.

Friends often come out to learn how to find them. Not difficult, if you know the rules. Chanterelles are golden in color, and have ridge-like gills that go from the cap down the stem without a break. They can be confused with another mushroom that doesn’t have the gills or have gills that have a thick ring just under the cap.

Here’s a photo of a bunch we just harvested the other day:

Our favorite way, and the simplest way, too, to eat them is simply after cleaning, cut them into pieces about 1 inch or so. Toss them with flour and fry them in butter with fresh sage that is abundant in the herb garden about this time of year. Wonderful as an appetizer! Another favorite is Chanterelle soup.

Extra mushrooms can be cleaned and frozen. I freeze them in a single layer, then pile them into zip-lock bags. They keep for 2 to 3 months, if we haven’t eaten them already!

Chantrelles Sauteed with fresh Sage in Butter

3 to 4 cups fresh chantrelles, cleaned and cut into 1-inch pieces

3 to 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Pinch each of ground cumin and coriander

4 tablespoons butter

A large handful of fresh sage leaves

1. In a bowl, toss the chanterelles with the flour, cumin and coriander.

2. In a saute pan, heat the butter and sage leaves. Add the floured chanterelles and toss with the butter and sage, over medium heat, and stir and fry until the mushrooms are browned and slightly shrunken.  They taste the best when slightly crisp, not mushy.

3. Serve hot. Goes well with a chilled Chardonnay.

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Beatrice Ojakangas

Food writer Beatrice Ojakangas grew up as the oldest of ten on a farm in Floodwood, Minnesota and learned to cook and bake on a woodstove. Author of 31 cookbooks, Beatrice has a degree in home economics, has been inducted into the James Beard Cookbook Hall of Fame, was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Minnesota, has written for magazines such as Bon Appetit, Gourmet, and Woman's Day, and appeared on the television shows of both Julia Child and Martha Stewart. Her specialties include baking, Finnish and Scandinavian cooking, and writing well-tested, simple recipes that use wholesome ingredients. She lives in Duluth, Minnesota.

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