Oyster Mushroom Recipe
Oyster mushrooms are one of the first mushrooms we pick. Steve can spot them 15 feet up a birch tree when he’s driving 50 mph down Route 6. I’m not that good. I’m usually too busy bobble-heading for wildlife and anything else I can find. I forget about the mushrooms. Such is life. I’m better at finding them when I’m on foot, and then I bring home enough to make this oyster mushroom recipe. Fresh mushrooms, butter, olive oil, sage, a little minced garlic – spectacular!
This oyster mushroom recipe is done in three steps. They’re all simple and none of them take much time. Mushrooms cook up quickly.
Look up for oyster mushrooms. They’re growing on dead or dying hardwoods. Look down for fallen trees, but don’t bother looking on the forest floor. They don’t grow in the duff. Our general rule of thumb for picking oysters is to leave one-third of the mushrooms to reproduce. It’s convenient to leave the top third when the tree is standing, and pick the lower mushrooms.
Clean the mushrooms well. They won’t be dirty because of where they grow but they will have bugs. Dead and dying wood is home to a lot of beetles. Clean them well and then look again. These little beetles are good at hiding in the gills. Use water only if absolutely necessary, and then dry well to avoid a lot of splattering oil when you add the mushrooms to the hot pan.
You don’t need to chop these mushrooms. They tear easily. Tear the gills into larger pieces and the denser part nearest the stem into smaller pieces to help even out the cooking time.
Oyster mushrooms dehydrate well. I powder some of them to use as a thickener in mushroom soup. They’re great on pizza, in ravioli and many other dishes.