One of my favorite things about December is the bloom of wild mushrooms. I am not a fan of damp gray days, but eating the fungi that thrive eases winter doldrums. Blessed with a rich woodsy flavor, chanterelles need little interference - just a little fresh thyme, olive oil, salt, pepper, and a splash of rosé.
Make sure to buy mushrooms that are firm and not at all soggy. If you aren't cooking them the day of your purchase, store the mushrooms in the fridge in a brown paper bag, never plastic.
- 5 cups fresh wild chanterelles
- 6 branches fresh thyme
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup rosé (or white) wine
- salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 475.
Clean mushrooms with a brush, or carefully pick off bits of dirt and debris. Slice mushroom lengthwise about 1/4 thick and leave smaller mushrooms intact. Remove the leaves from 3 thyme sprigs, and leave a few with the leaves on. Toss the mushrooms in a bowl with olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme leaves. Put seasoned mushrooms in a cast iron pan, along with the extra branches of thyme, and rosé.
Roast in oven for about 15 minutes. I pour out the liquid about half-way through cooking to keep the mushrooms from getting soggy.
Roasted wild mushrooms are delicious with risotto, grilled meat, or in a winter salad. We ate them with fennel sausages, on a bed of creamy polenta. Maybe winter isn't so bad after all.
Generously serves 4 (unless your enthusiastic 6 year-old cannot stop eating the mushrooms right out of the oven and you have barely any left for dinner)