Which mushrooms rule? It depends on the use and whether you’re after cultivated or wild varieties. Nearly all fresh mushrooms love a saute in butter or olive oil (with or without garlic or shallots) with splash of wine, madeira or other spirit and an herb (thyme is a favorite). Raw is on the rise, while the soaking liquid for dry varieties adds body to a dish.
Some of the most popular mushroom finds:
This thick mushroom is almost all stem; firm with a nutty flavor, it’s known for a long shelf life.
Chanterelle (pictured above)
Once available only through foragers, this luxury mushroom is now widely cultivated. A favorite in French cooking, it works its magic in any cuisine with a delicate flavor and striated orange appearance.
Perhaps the most luxurious (and expensive) wild mushroom, it has a dark, elongated cap that looks perforated.
Its color and seafood-like aroma easily explain why this fungus that grows on mushrooms is named after the crustacean. It pairs particularly well with seafood or meat dishes.
Also known as hen-of-the-woods, this cultivated variety grows in flaky gray-and-white masses that can be cooked by lightly searing; it’s also said to aid the immune system.