Warm Chanterelle Mushroom and Wild Rice Salad

Chanterelle mushroom wild rice with dill flowers Earlier this week I was throwing together staff meal for a video shoot with Barebones Living. A big bowl of wild rice with chanterelle mushrooms was supposed to be for the crew, but it ended up in the shoot. 

The shoot was focused on summer foraging and campfire cooking. I’d planned on making pork chops with serviceberry sauce, as well as my favorite French chanterelle omelet. 

Pork chops with serviceberry sauce and wild greens. Image by Jesse Roesler. 

As I prepped ingredients for the shoot the night before, I remembered I’d forgotten to make staff meal. Thinking back to my first trip to the barrens with Sam Thayer, I remembered escaping the sun under some hazelnut shrubs to share a big bowl of wild rice with vegetables for lunch.

Image by Andy Berndt.

Wild rice, especially natural wild rice, is great at any temperature. Served cool, warm, or room temp, it makes a great salad as it’s not as heavy as black paddy wild rice. If you’re not familiar with the real deal, there’s a link at the bottom of the post where I go in-depth on the confusing differences between different types of wild rice. 

The real deal. Parched wild rice. I usually buy mine from KC’s Best, but there’s lots of suppliers.

I cooked up a big pan of chanterelles and a couple handfuls of summer vegetables, added some rice, seasoned it, let it cool, mixed in a bunch of herbs, and packed it into deli containers.

Cantharellus enelensis (the Newfoundland chanterelle) grows in the jack pine forests.

As I cooked I thought about how it was a nice, one-pan chanterelle recipe that’d also be perfect for the shoot, and more rustic than my omelet than makes a smaller serving. So I scratched the omelet and prepped another batch of rice for the shoot instead. 

Some of the best food is cooked in the moment with feel and instinct, instead of by following directions.

How to Make It 

There’s a lot of mushrooms in this. It’s a good thing to make when you have a bag of mushrooms cleaned in the fridge already and you couldn’t help but go and pick more anyway. 

You cook a little cured meat like bacon (optional), lots of chanterelles or other wild mushrooms, wild rice, a couple stingy handfuls of vegetables that function as a garnish, and plenty of herbs.

It’s all about the wild mushrooms and rice here. A handful of black walnuts is a nice touch if you have some. 

For the vegetables, I used a little fennel, carrot and garlic scapes, but these can be whatever you have on hand. I made it a few times throughout the week, switching out fennel for sweet corn, peppers for carrots, etc. 

It’s all about the chanterelles here.

Whatever you do, try to keep the amount of vegetables to around 8 oz (not including the scallions) as they’re just a garnish. If you use too many the chanterelles can fade into the background.

Serving variations 

If I serve salads like this cold or room temp, I season it more, and I might omit the mushrooms or cut them into smaller pieces. Adding extra oil like Sam’s hickory nut, or some EVOO, along with some fresh lemon juice or vinegar and extra herbs can make it pop more if it’s eaten cool too. Wild rice salads also travel well. 

Dill flowers are in season and are the perfect garnish.

Warm Chanterelle Mushroom and Wild Rice Salad

A warm salad of wild rice and chanterelle mushrooms garnished with vegetables and black walnuts. Serves 4-6 as a side dish
Prep Time30 mins

Mushrooms and Vegetables

Wild Rice


Combine the wild rice, ½ teaspoon salt (skip the salt if you use stock that’s seasoned) water or stock and bring to a simmer.
Cover the pan and cook on low for 20 minutes or until the rice is tender and the liquid has been completely absorbed. Allow the rice to rest while you’re preparing the rest of the ingredients.

Chanterelles and Vegetables

Clean the chanterelles by swishing in water quickly if needed. Large mushrooms should be cut in half. Small buttons that haven’t opened their caps should be left whole.
Render the fat from the bacon slowly on medium-high heat in a large 10-12 inch cast iron skillet.
When the fat has released, add the chanterelles, turning the heat to medium and cooking until their liquid has released and the mushrooms have begun to take on some color. If the pan threatens to get dry, add a splash of stock or water.
Add half the butter or oil, vegetables (except the scallions) and garlic, season with a generous pinch of salt, turn the heat to medium-low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10-15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
Add the rice and the nuts, remaining butter or oil, stir and heat through. Double check the seasoning and adjust until it tastes good to you. It should be lightly dressed with fat, herby, and well seasoned. Serve garnished with a few dill flowers, if using.
The rice will keep for 3-4 days in the fridge.

To serve the dish as a cold or room temperature salad

Season the dish with a little extra oil and salt as chilling mutes flavors. I like to pack it into deli containers and bring it in a cooler for a quick, filling meal in the field. Before serving I might add lemon juice or vinegar, and more fresh herbs.

This content was originally published here.

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