Last week I was a chaperone for my daughter’s 3rd grade camping trip. On the way home we spied a beautiful orange Chicken of the Woods mushroom on a tree and promptly harvested it for weekend dinner. Foraging for wild mushrooms is such a rewarding endeavor. Out in the woods for a walk and I discover a lovely, edible and delicious gift of nature that I can whisk home and cook for dinner (for preserve for later use.) Better yet, the only price I paid was a bit of fresh air.
When I cook wild mushrooms I try to keep it simple and unadorned. Unless you’re an ardent forager, wild mushrooms are a real treat. I want their unique flavor to shine, so I keep heavy masking flavors out of the mix. We had dinner with friends Saturday night so I made this easy mushroom tart with store-bought puff pastry. Served at room temperature it makes a great appetizer or main course with a salad.
If you don’t have wild mushrooms, store bought or rehydrated dried mushrooms work very well in this dish. It’s hard to go wrong with a little pastry, butter, herbs and garlic to show off even the humblest of mushrooms.