Warm, Creamy Wild Hericium Salad

Preparation info

  • Serves

    4

    • Difficulty

      Medium

Appears in

Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini

By Elizabeth Schneider

Published 2001

  • About

This indescribable wild creature is for adventurous eaters—not because it tastes “weird” or strong, but because it is unlike other foods. It is light and luscious in texture, mild and fresh in flavor, with little earthiness about it—and, for all I know, tastes different every time it is cooked. Experiment!

Ingredients

  • About ¾ pound wild Hericium
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Minced fresh tarragon leaves
  • Lemon juice
  • Nutmeg
  • 1 bunch water cress, rinsed, dried, and trimmed into sprigs
  • Optional: minced chives and lemon slices

    Method

    1. Nip off and discard any brown or yellow tips from mushrooms. Pull off tufty smaller branches and tear into large bite-size pieces. Chop central stem and branches. If miraculously clean, do not wash. More likely, you will need to dip quickly in and out of water, repeating until clean.
    2. Melt butter in medium sauté pan over high heat. Add mushroom and salt, cover, reduce heat, and simmer until tender, about 5 minutes (it will be juicy).
    3. Uncover and raise heat briefly to evaporate juices. Reduce heat and add cream: Use the smaller amount to cook down to a glaze or, for a creamy-soft effect, stir in the larger amount and heat through.
    4. Add tarragon, lemon juice, and nutmeg a little at a time, tasting often to balance the delicate flavors.
    5. Arrange cress on plates. Spoon mushrooms on top. Serve warm, with optional chives and lemon.