Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Oyster Mushrooms - A Cold Weather Treat!

When I heard a novice shroomer mutter just the other day that he was hanging up his sack for the season, I loudly exclaimed - "NOOOO!!! Not Yet!!!"
Here in Southern Illinois it seems many think morels arethe only wild edible mushroom, or that mushrooms are for the soggy wet springs, or any number of other myths about collecting and foraging for wild mushrooms.
Granted, I most likely fall into that Hard Core segment of the mushroom hunting community. Burning up the boot leather, wading through the swamps and sloughs, up the bluffs and through the thickets, I'm out there looking every month of the year, and I've harvested wild mushrooms in every month of he year.
That's not to say that the winter harvests are large, and normally it's only the Oysters that I can find in January and February and that's only if the weather patterns play out just right. But good heavens - NEVER hang up your shroom sack - never assume "the season is over".
All it takes is that mysterious and mystical just right mix of tempeture and moisture and poof! there's a nice little flush.
Here it is - December 1st - and tonights supper was a Oyster mushroom (freshly cut today) Fritatta.
Hang up my sack for the season pffft - not when beauties like these are still popping.

Here's the recipe for that delicious frittata we enjoyed - give it a whirl with any wild mushrooms you have! It makes for quick and easy supper when you've been in the field all day be it hunting or foraging.


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups coarsely chopped wild mushrooms
  • 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • Coarse salt and pepper
  • 12 eggs, beaten
  • Dash of half-and-half
  • 1 half medium red onion chopped
  • 1 bell pepper ( red, green, yellow whatever you have) chopped
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Heat a 10-inch nonstick skillet, with oven safe handle over medium to medium-high heat.

To hot pan, add oil and mushrooms. Season mushrooms, onions and peppers with thyme, salt and pepper. Cook 3 to 5 minutes until all of the veggies are tender. Beat eggs with salt and pepper, dash of half-and-half, and hot sauce. Pour over the mushrooms. Lift and settle eggs in the pan as they brown on the bottom. When the eggs are set but remain uncooked on top, transfer to oven for 7 or 8 minutes, until frittata is golden brown and puffy. Sprinkle the frittata with cheese and return to the oven for 1 or 2 minutes.

Serves six


Deb said...

Hmmm that first photo looks kinda like one I took of some last month, I didn't know what kind they were or if they were ok to eat, so I didn't pick them. I don't really like mushrooms but my DH LOVES them. He only goes looking for those Morels in the spring too, cause he doesn't know if any of the other ones we see are ok to eat or not, I'm sure he would love to come to your house and learn what kinds to go looking for! *giggle*

Gretchen Steele said...

Deb - I would gladly take him along any time he wanted to go!!

Deb said...

LOL if we could ever take a vacation we might take you up on that...however vacation isn't really a word in our vocabulary with money tight...getting enough extra to actually go somewhere for the fun of it will have to wait. Sounds fun though. :)

Sounds like you will be busy now with the birds, bet that is interesting...although I'm not to sure about those 3 am wake ups. *giggle*

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