Thanks to the Northwest Mushroomers Association (NMA) Show in Bellingham (see photos I took), I was able to connect with Cascadia Mushrooms and purchase a beautiful assortment of locally grown mushrooms. Many of them also grow wild in our area, and I’d encourage you to contact NMA if you are interested in learning how to identify the edible varieties.
After I’d been to the NMA Show, a friend’s son took us on a foraging walking tour of the Arboretum on the Western Washington University campus. I was amazed at the variety of both edible mushrooms and other kinds of edible plants he was able to show us–including some ornamental plants around campus buildings. Mushrooms, berries, roots (we didn’t dig any, but the plants were there)–all looking like ordinary “woods” plants. Who knew there was so much bounty available for free? We could have easily made a meal for our group of five with what he found. (Please don’t head to the Arboretum for dinner, though. It’s a good place to learn to identify plants, but let’s leave them in place for others to enjoy, too.)
Anyway, here’s a recipe I made with some of the wonderful Cascadia Mushrooms fungi–chanterelles, oyster, shiitake, and lion’s mane mushrooms. I love chanterelles and shiitakes, painted a picture of oyster mushrooms once because I thought they were such lovely shapes, but I’d never even seen lion’s mane mushrooms before. Delightful to make their acquaintance!
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- 2 tablespoons butter (Breckinridge Farm, Everson)
- 1/2 cup shallots, chopped (home garden, Lummi Island)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (Rabbit Field Farms, Everson)
- 1 tsp thyme, dried (home garden, Lummi Island)
- 1/2 pound assorted wild mushrooms (I used 2 oz. each of chanterelle, shiitake, oyster, lion’s mane mushrooms), trimmed and sliced (Cascadia Mushrooms, Bellingham)
- 1 cup Mushroom Stock
- 1 cup heavy cream (Twin Brook Creamery, Lynden)
- Salt (see Exceptions)
- 1 pound fettucini* (Bellingham Pasta, Bellingham)
- Grated cheese (Appel Farms, Ferndale)
* Fettucini is what I call a transitional food, since it is made here in Whatcom County but not all the ingredients are grown here. Bellingham Pasta makes every effort to use ingredients from as close to home as possible, however.
In a large stock pot, bring salted water to a boil.
In a large saute pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the shallots and saute just until translucent. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute longer, Add the thyme and saute 1 more minute. Add the sliced mushrooms and saute until they begin to release their liquid, about 5 minutes. Add the mushroom stock and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the cream and continue to cook until the sauce begins to thicken (about 5 minutes). Salt to taste. Remove from heat.
Cook pasta in the boiling water until al dente. Drain and quickly toss with mushroom sauce. Sprinkle with grated cheese. Divide onto serving plates and serve immediately.
Serve with a fresh salad or Sauteed Red Cabbage.
Appel Farms Cheese Shoppe, 6605 Northwest Road, Ferndale (open Mon-Sat 9a-6p)
Cascadia Mushrooms, (360) 714-8859 Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, Bellingham
Community Food Co-operative, Westerly and Cordata, Bellingham
Home garden, Lummi Island
Terra Organica, Flora and Cornwall, Bellingham