Food Mushrooms

Black trumpets

What they taste like Also known as black chanterelles, they have a kind of smoky flavor. And a tiny splash of Scotch in the pan will bring it out even more.

How to serve them Roast, sauté, or stew black trumpets in a ragout; they take to almost any cooking method. Unlike other mushrooms, black trumpets need a good washing because they can be quite sandy.

Chef’s tip Use them in risotto, the classic Italian rice dish. Or simply sautés them in olive oil with garlic and serves them over pasta or steak.


What they taste like They look just like button mushrooms with a suntan. But the flavor is stronger, though not as intense as that of shiitakes or portobellos.

How to serve them Use cremini raw or stuffed. Their sturdy texture also makes a great meat substitute in chili or stroganoff.

Chef’s tip Sautés cremini with ghyme and garlic, then adds a splash of sweet Madiera or sherry to complement their earthiness. Serves that as a side dish. Or stuffs the caps with bread crumbs, garlic, thyme, and a sprinkle of Parmesan before baking.


What they taste like Golden-hued chanterelles have a sweet flavor that hints of fresh corn and apricot.

How to serve them Their texture and taste are so distinctive that they don’t mix well with other mushrooms. Cut large ones into quarters lengthwise but leave small ones whole; just trim off the tough stem ends.

Chef’s tip Combines them in a sauce with corn, shallots, white wine, butter, chives, and parsley to top fish. Mixes them with roasted chestnuts for a fall side dish.


What they taste like These tiny, long-stemmed mushrooms are usually sold packaged, not loose. They have a delicate, slightly straw-like flavor (that’s a good thing!) and a little bit of crunch.

How to serve them Use the whole mushroom, stem and all. Enoki are great served raw in salads or lightly cooked with other vegetables in a stir-fry.

Chef’s tip Briefly sautés enoki in olive oil. Then reduce a mixture of vinegar, mustard, and a bit of stock to make a glaze to coat the mushrooms, which serve as a glistening side dish.


What they taste like These large, soft mushrooms are named for their shape but do taste a little like fresh oysters (though they’re more nutty than fishy) when cooked in butter.

How to serve them Sauté them or add them to stews; their milk flavor marries best with veal, chicken, and turkey. Always use the whole mushroom, trimming off the stem end if it is dry. Or try roasting them; they are very meaty.

Chef’s tip Serve oysters tempura-style, battered and fried. Or grill them to add to soups and salads.

Portobellos and baby bellas

What they taste like It’s no wonder Portobello burgers are popping up on many restaurant menus; the mushrooms have a meaty flavor and filet-like texture.

How to serve them Grill, broil, or roast them after oiling and seasoning them with garlic, Worcestershire or soy sauce, or herbs such as dill, rosemary, basil, or thyme.

Chef’s tip Roast portobellos with some olive oil and a little balsamic vinegar, then stuffs them with zucchini and farro (a nutty-tasting grain) and serves them as a vegetarian option.


What they taste like Also known as cêpes, these oversized mushrooms, imported from France and other countries, are prized for their sweet, hazelnut flavor, which intensifies when they’re cooked. The dried version can be easier to find; just soak them in hot water to reconstitute.

How to serve them Use the whole mushroom, raw or cooked. They’re great grilled or roasted with olive oil.

Chef’s tip Grind dried porcini into a powder. Use the powder as a coating, like flour, to add earthy flavor to cod or halibut that’s then cooked with rosemary or sage.


What they taste like These Asian mushrooms have a rich, almost beefy flavor. To ramp that up, add a splash of tamari or soy sauce.

How to serve them
Look for big, full caps. Ditch the stems, which are tough and not very tasty (save them to make stock). Slice or dice the caps for sauces or leave them whole and roast them.

Chef’s tip Make shiitake “chips”. Toss the caps with olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper and roast them at 325°F until crisp. Use them as a garnish for squash soap, in salads, or as snacks!

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