A recent stop by the West Hollywood Farmers’ Market had me jumping for joy as I stumbled upon foraged chanterelle mushrooms from the beloved L.A. Funghi booth. Chanterelles, aka Cantharellus cibarius, have a beautiful yellowish-orange tint and an earthy flavor, matched in greatness only by their exquisite texture. (And all too often, price.)
While they can be found growing wild year-round, fall is their peak season. Delightful when simply sautéed in olive oil or butter, chanterelles lend themselves well to heavier dishes like risotto. Leslie, the mycological mentor working the L.A. Funghi stand, recommended using them in any kind of egg dish or omelet.
Amelia Saltsman, author of The Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Cookbook, advises how to select the very best chanterelles for your buck:
“Look for golden orange, firm, heavy-for-their-size, dry (but not dried out) mushrooms. Trim away any dark reddish, dried-out areas (a sign of toughness) on otherwise good specimens. Store the mushrooms in a brown paper bag, never plastic. If they are damp from rain, add a paper towel to the bag to absorb the moisture. If too dry, add a damp paper towel, but watch that they don’t get too wet. Clean the mushrooms with a damp brush; avoid rinsing with water.
Plates around town using Chanterelles:
- Osteria Mozza: Celery root cappellacci pasta with chanterelles » 6602 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles
- Superba Snack Bar: Housemade casarecce pasta with chanterelle mushrooms, bottarga, shallot confit, and Parmesan cheese » 533 Rose Ave., Venice
- Wilshire Restaurant: Pan-roasted Scottish salmon with a chorizo-sunchoke-chanterelle ragout and lobster nage » 2454 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica
- Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: Chanterelle soup with crispy sunchokes and grilled scallions » 1031 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice
Chanterelle mushroom recipes:
- Josiah Citrin’s wild mushroom salad
- Chanterelle popcorn recipe from The Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Cookbook
- Ricotta gnudi with chanterelles from The Mozza Cookbook
- Chanterelle corn risotto recipe from David West of Clearwater Farms