Aromatic, haunting, and wickedly wild...exotic mushrooms tease the imagination and
send the daring on to new culinary adventures. Roast them, grill them,
saute them, but you'll never tame them. Following is our Short List of
Trumpet / Fall through Spring - Wickedly black, decidedly wild. Its
delicate trumpet-shaped form shows off in a saute and makes its mark in
pasta and risotto dishes. Excellent with game, poultry and especially
Blewitt / Fall
-White with hints of blue throughout. Use
both cap and stem in sautees, in marinades, and grilled. About 2 inches
in diameter. Flavor is stronger than the oyster family. Tastes great
with eggy dishes like custard.
/ cultivated - The
cultivated version of blewitt. Larger, denser flesh and stems, bluer.
Grill or use in ragout.
/ Fall - Grows up like
romaine lettuce, with the texture of thick seaweed. Tastes so fragrant
you'll serve it with everything -- meat, fish, eggs. Crunchy texture,
butter-yellow color. Sautes and roasts well.
Cepe / Spring & Fall - a.k.a. porcini. Earthy, powerful, and of
buttery texture. This king of the forest is the rare mushroom that can
be served raw, sprinkled with truffle oil. Saute with potatoes, grill
/ Late summer to late winter - Golden, with apricot nuances. Lends a sweet
counterpoint to hearty, rich foods like venison and duck. Saute, flambe
with Calvados, sprinkle with tarragon, and serve as an accompaniment to
a baked ham. Slow roast in oven with garlic and cream and use as a pasta
sauce. Add to a meat stew.
/ Fall - Wild, with gray-black cap and white gills.
Flavor hints of pine, and texture is on the crunchy side. Takes some
cleaning. Roast with olive oil, mix with oyster for ragouts. Cook with
lamb or steak.
the Woods / Summer - This yellow-orange mushroom grows on trees
in a fan shape. Its firm texture and chicken-like flavor suggest
ragouts, soups, and fillings for poultry or pasta. Goes well with spicy
Mexican-style ingredients. As big as a hand.
/ Spring & Summer - Looks like...you guessed it! Yellowish to
pale white, about 5 inches high and 3 inches around. Crumbles easily, so
drop it into a soup or deep-fry it whole.
Crimini / Cultivated - Same mushroom as the button and portobello.
A bit larger than a button, with more assertive flavor. Stuff, roast,
use in soup.
/ Cultivated - This Q-Tip look-alike adds the right cool
crunch to a crudite platter when raw. Toss into stirfrys, garnish soups,
use instead of sprouts on sandwiches and salads.
/ Cultivated - Buttery white, delicately flavored, and
firm-textured. Its size (about the size of your palm) makes it a great
candidate for grilling. Stems can also be eaten. Serve in a salad, in a
mixed grill, or with fish.
Chicken / Fall - Shaped like a shiitake, this autumn
mushroom is light brown, medium-firm, with gills. It brings the earthy
flavors of a fall forest to the table. Use with game and chops.
Hedgehog / Summer through late
winter - Little teeth line the underside of the cap.
Color ranges from buff to deep orange, in specimens from a half-inch to
five inches in diameter. The hedgehog tastes like a mild version of the
chanterelle. Lots of chefs refer to it by its French name, "pied de
of the Woods / Fall & cultivated - Grey, black, beige mushroom that grows like
salad, all curly and full of crevices. When chopped it yields small
pieces. Trap its fragrance in Japanese-style soups, omelettes, and
ravioli, or serve warm over salad greens. Nice and crunchy.
Honey / Summer - Clustered on long, tough stems, with a
light brown cap. Delivers hefty earthy flavor, to cook with corn,
scallops, and pasta.
/ Cultivated - Small dusty-beige cap about the size of a
pinky. Cooks up whole, white stems are also edible. The fragrance
released into soups and sauces is paralleled only by its surpise crunch.
About 1 1 / 2 inches from stem-end to cap.
/ Cultivated - This king of corn smut parasites on
corncobs. It resembles candy corn, and cooks up as black as ink. The
burst of corn flavor it offers turns any corny dish into a fiesta.
Fall - Pumpkin-colored, firm, dry mushroom with
green veins running throughout. About 2 inches in diameter. Preserve
"a la grecque" style or braise in beef stock and wine.
Lobster / Summer - This is a seasonal wild mushroom with a
hearty, woodsy flavor. Its firm, dry texture indicates marinating in
olive oil and fresh basil before grilling or stewing. Saute sliced
lobster with fresh herbs at low heat for 15 minutes, and serve with
/ Summer & Fall - Prized by the Japanese for its faintly
peppery flavor, this mushrooom comes in five grades, with #1 being the
best. As the cap detaches from the stem and opens, the mushroom is
downgraded. Excellent texture for fish, soups, and sautes.
Morel / Spring & Summer - It looks like a brainy ace of spades, but
its flavor is down-to-earth. With no stem to speak of, its hollow
accommodates wonderful stuffings. Morels and cream are a match made in
heaven. Dried morels perform admirably, as does their soaking
/ Spring & Fall - Small, brown, delicate mushroom that grows
in forests and on lawns. Its earthy flavor and tiny size makes it
excellent as a garnish for veal, fish, and chicken. A handful in the
saute pan makes an instant sauce for orzo or polenta. Usually needs no
/ Cultivated - This mild-flavored, fleshy mushroom runs
from pearly white to gray to brown. Wild, or more likely, cultivated,
the oyster lends itself to cooking with fish and warm salads. As if the
Japanese weren't generous enough by introducing us to the shiitake,
they've now given us shimeji, the oyster's tiny cousin.
/ Spring - The thick-walled, cup-shaped cap of this
French mushroom lends itself to breading / deep frying. Melt cheese in
the cup when it's fresh from the fryer, and you'll be back for
Pig Ear / Fall
- This pinkish-brown mushroom has the same
semi-firm texture of the oyster mushroom (and is the same color as its
namesake). Slice and saute this fragrant mushroom, to mix with other
seasonal mushrooms or as an accompaniment to red meat.
/ Cultivated - Slice into
rounds, sprinkle with olive oil and pepper, and grill or broil. Steam
slices in a tinfoil pouch with a fish filet, fresh herbs, and a splash
of white wine or lemon juice. Stir-fry sliced pompoms with chicken and
Porcini See Cepe.
Portobello / Cultivated - The cap of this meaty mushroom can be
larger than your salad plate. Lots of vegetarians sink their teeth into
a portobello instead of a sirloin. The best way to prepare it is by
marinating and grilling.
/ Spring & Summer - A round, white, thick-fleshed egg of a
mushroom. From marble-sized to over 50 lbs. The density of this mushroom
permits wide thick slices, which serve as pizza and "bruschetta"
platforms. Flavor is negligible...go for broke with toppings.
Shiitake / Cultivated - A workhorse mushroom too often snubbed. Its
earthiness makes it a best bet for a saute to accompany veal, a sauce-y
shroom for pasta, and a base mushroom on which to build a soup. To boot,
it's a low-maintenance fungus with a long shelf life.
Shimeji / Cultivated - Small, smooth, pearl-gray cap about an inch in diameter. In the oyster
family, grows in a cluster. Used as a garnish to meats, Asian-style
entrees. Can deep-fry.
/ Spring - Looks like a large domestic button
mushroom, but is wild, with a creamy, assertive flavor. Slice and saute,
roast, and grill. Good with polenta, fish, and with green
/ Fall / Winter - Prized
for its aromatic properties, which include musk, earth, and sex. A
round, black, bumpy fungus, it should be firm, dry, and aromatic. Must
be heated to release its aroma. Use in scrambled eggs, scalloped
potatoes, under the skin of a chicken.
Truffle, Chinese / Fall & Winter
- Black and very similar
in appearance to French one. Smaller, harder, less aromatic, but a
bargain for sure. Many truffle eaters are duped into paying French
truffle prices for this lesser-grade truffle.
White / Fall - Heavily
aromatic, perhaps the world's most expensive item. And worth it. Use
raw, shaved over pasta, carpaccio, risotto. No need to do anything more
/ Cultivated - Delicate flavor, uniform trumpet shape,
needs little or no trimming, and no cleaning. Saute with chanterelles,
yellowfoot and black trumpets, and serve as a side dish. Stuff a hen or
other bird with white trumpets, onion and garlic.
Oyster / Summer - Larger, moister, and sweeter than the
cultivated variety. Serve as a side to fish or seafood.
Cap / Summer and Fall - Brown cap brushed with red, same shape as
shiitake. Sautes and stews in harmony with autumnal tubers such as
potatoes, turnips, and crosnes.
/ Fall & Winter - A member of the chanterelle family, this
brownish, mushroom is typically vase-shaped, with ridges running from
wrinkled cap to bright gold stem. Inexplicably, the French call this one
Get Fresh. Go Wild.
Marché Aux Delices
Get fresh, wild
New York, NY 10028