Attention, wild food enthusiasts and mycophagous (that’s mushroom eaters, in case you were wondering)! Get ready to put on your foraging hat and dig into the delectable world of edible mushrooms found right here in the United Kingdom.

Scrumptious Shaggy Inkcap (Coprinus Comatus)

Who said mushrooms couldn’t have a sense of style and flavour? The Shaggy Inkcap mushroom is characterised by its elongated white cap covered in shaggy scales. As it matures the cap opens up, resembling an inky mess – earning its nickname “Inky Cap”. You can find these sprouting in grassy areas, woodlands, and even along roadsides during late summer and autumn. 

When this shroom is young and fresh, it offers a mild and slightly nutty taste, making it a charming addition to any dish. Try adding fresh inky caps to a garlic and parsley sauce and serve with fresh pasta. 

Delightful Chanterelle (Cantharellus Cibarius)

The Chanterelle is the golden gem of the fungi kingdom and has earned a special place in the hearts of gastronomes around the world. Cantharellus cobarius mushrooms are easily identifiable by their vibrant golden-yellow colour and unlike most mushrooms, they have ridges instead of gills on the underside.

The chanterelle is known for its fruity and slightly peppery flavour. Their firm texture and rigid structure work perfectly sautéed, grilled, or added to sauces, bringing a touch of elegance to any culinary masterpiece. 

Elevate your risotto game with the addition of Cantharellus mushrooms. Begin by sautéing the mushrooms with butter or olive oil until they turn golden. In a separate pot, prepare your favourite risotto base, adding vegetable or chicken broth and Arborio rice. As the rice cooks, gradually incorporate the sautéed mushrooms, stirring gently to combine the flavours. Finish with a generous grating of parmesan cheese.

Magnificent Morel (Morchella Esculenta)

Morchella esculenta’s are considered the crown jewel of the mushroom world. More commonly known as the Morel mushroom, it has a distinctive honeycomb-like cap and is a highly sought-after delicacy. These little wonders emerge in springtime and are often found in woodland areas, near trees, and in areas with decaying organic matter. 

Morel’s offer a taste like no other, they boast an earthy, nutty flavour with hints of smokiness and meaty texture. When cooked, the flavour intensifies, and many argue that the best way to enjoy them is simply sauteed in butter. 

Fantastic Field Mushrooms (Agaricus Campestris)

Don’t underestimate the humble Field Mushroom! With its mild flavor and fleshy texture, this versatile fungus is a staple in many kitchens. Featuring a white or brown cap that expands and flattens as it matures, typically growing in grassy areas, meadows, and even lawns, making it easily accessible to forages during late summer and autumn months. 

Field mushrooms are beloved for their earthy and robust flavour. From hearty stews to sautés and even burgers, the field Mushroom adds a touch of meaty texture and savoury taste that adds depth to any dish.

For the vegetarians amongst us, you can elevate your burger game with a juicy field mushroom patty. Finely chop field mushrooms and saute them with onions, garlic and your reffered seasonings until the moisture evaporates. Allow the mixture to cool and combine it with breadcrumbs, beaten egg, and grated cheese to bind the ingredients together. Form the mixture into patties and grill or pan fry them until golden and cooked through. Serve on a bun with your favouite toppings for a veggie burger bursting with umami flavours. 

Chicken of the Woods (Laetiporus Sulphureus)

When it comes to vibrant and visually striking mushrooms, the laetiporus sulohureus stands out like a true gem. Known as ‘the chicken of the woods’ this mushroom is instantly recognisable with its vivid yellow and orange colourisation. It can be found growing in clusters on the trunks of fallen logs of hardwood trees, such as oak and beach during early spring. 

One of the most remarkable aspects of this mushroom is its unique taste and texture. Due to the natural fanned layers, it is reminiscent of seafood or chicken. Its tender, fibrous flesh absorbs flavours well. However, it is important to not that this shroom can cause gastric upset for some people so consume in moderation!

Marvelous Hedgehog Mushrooms (Hydnum repandum)

Prepare to be pricked with delight by the hedgehog mushroom, with its tooth-like spines on the underside resembling the spines of a hedgehog. Its cap ranges in colour from pale yellow to reddish brown. When cooked,  Its distinctive firm texture gives it the ability to retain its shape during cooking. It releases a nutty flavour that pairs perfectly with creamy sauces or makes a flavourful addition to hearty soups.

To make hedgehog mushroom soup, sauté onion and minced garlic in butter until they become fragrant. Add sliced hydnum repandum and cook for 5 minutes until they have released their liquid. Sprinkle with flour to thicken and then stir in vegetable broth. Simmer for 15-20 minutes and then puree the soup until smooth. Stir in some heavy cream and season to taste. Serve with freshly baked bread and garnish with freshly chopped parsley.

Oyster Mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus)

Oyster mushrooms have captured the hearts of chefs and food enthusiasts worldwide, becoming one of the most popular meat substitutes around the world. Specifically known as pleurotus ostreatus, they are named after their resemblance to oysters – however no seafood is required here!

Coming in a variety of colours, including pale white, grey, and even pink and yellow, these fleshy stems add visual appeal to any dish. Oyster mushrooms can be found naturally growing on decaying wood, making them a sustainable and accessible choice. Also, these veggie alternatives offer several health benefits, being packed with protein, fibre and a multitude of vitamins and minerals.

One of the best ways to reap the benefits of what oyster mushrooms have to offer is turning them into crispy chips. Slice the mushrooms into chip-sized pieces and then marinate in olive oil, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper and toss in flour. Place the mushrooms on a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes until the slices are crispy and golden brown. Serve as a snack or a side dish and enjoy them paired with dips and sauces of your choice.

Tasty Porcini (Boletus Edulis)

Renowned for its rich, nutty taste and meaty texture, porcini mushrooms is a treasure in the culinary world. Sautéed, grilled, or even incorporated into a risotto, the porcini adds a depth of flavour that will leave you craving more.

One of the most sought after ingredients among chefs, porcini mushrooms are knowns for their complex flavour profile, with a detectable hint of sweetness. Featuring a stout stem, a large domed cap and a sponge-like underside, these mushrooms can be found under deciduous trees like oak or beech. 

Particularly revered in Italian cuisine, porcini mushrooms are a game changer in pasta dishes. Paired particularly well with fettuccine, tagliatelle or pappardelle. Garlic, porcini and some good quality extra virgin olive oil is all you need for a delicious dish. 

Do you want to try a wild mushroom recipe? Follow the link below to try a recipe from Tom Radford (@eatthecountry):