“From the Woods,” mezzotint, 6” x 15 1/2”, 2006

Downing, Holly

Chanterelles on Bruschetta

INGREDIENTS (quantities to taste)
chanterelle mushrooms (freshly collected in the woods is
best, but otherwise purchased at a fine grocery store)
olive oil
unsalted butter
coarse salt
good quality bread for bruschetta
This recipe ideally involves an outing to an oak woodlands, about
a week after the first winter rains (late November in N. California).
Wear hiking boots and carry a basket; tromp around in the thick
layer of leaves under the oaks searching for the magical orange of
the beautifully fluted chanterelle. Gently remove the mushrooms
from the soil under the leaves, keeping stems intact.
In your kitchen, clean with a soft brush and as little water as possible.
Slice chanterelles and set aside on paper towels. Dice shallots.
In a sauté pan melt equal amounts of butter and olive oil; add shallots
and sauté until translucent. In a larger pan sauté chanterelles,
with no oil or liquid, at medium low heat. The mushrooms will
produce their own liquid. Continue to sauté until the liquid is reabsorbed.
Add shallots, oil and butter to mushrooms and continue
to sauté. Slice and toast bread, brush with olive oil, heap on the hot
chanterelles and sprinkle with salt.