It’s no secret that I’m mildly obsessed with Florida foods and immersing myself in the rhythms of the harvest. As I face each holiday I keep realizing that the pagan calendar holidays and their common imagery just don’t fit our rhythms. Beltaine is as much of a harvest holiday as Samhain for us while Lughnasadh, coming in just a couple of weeks, is the season of leanness. Most of our annual crops have given up under the brunt of the sun and constant thunderstorms and we must hunt and forage for food. Learning the harvest times of wild and foraged foods are an important part of connecting with these rhythms for me, even if I don’t do the harvesting myself.
These beautiful chanterelles are a perfect example. We don’t have many edible wild mushrooms here but Cantharellus cinnabarinus can be found after heavy rains in the summer, and boy have we had some heavy rains here lately. Look at all these chanterelles at the farmers’ market! It’s like the mushrooms feel like they have to compete with the flowers. Definitely part of a Lughnasadh feast!
I’m eating a mostly primal diet for the summer in solidarity with my husband, who is experimenting with his blood sugar medication and diet. Those beautiful chanterelles, the rioting sage in my garden, goat cheese made by my daughter’s math teacher, and the spaghetti squash I harvested last month were all the inspiration I needed for a hearty but still light dish that I’m eating for breakfast this week. If you love mushrooms and you’re a little tired of eggs for breakfast, give this recipe a try.
Creamy Sage and Wild Mushroom Skillet
1 lb button mushrooms, sliced
1/4 lb chanterelles or other wild mushrooms, carefully cleaned and sliced if large
1/4 c butter
1/4 c creme fraiche (or cream)
1 small spaghetti squash (about 2 lb) baked and shredded
6-8 large leaves of fresh sage, minced (about 2 heaping tablespoons)
4 oz garlic & chive goat cheese
plenty of salt and pepper
Melt half the butter in a large skillet (cast iron if you have one!) over medium heat until the foaming subsides. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally until the mushrooms let go of all their moisture, the moisture evaporates, and the mushrooms start sizzling and are greatly reduced in volume. This may take up to 10 minutes. Be patient! Once the mushrooms are nicely browned, scrape them into a bowl and repeat with the remaining butter and wild mushrooms.
When the wild mushrooms are browned, add the button mushrooms back to the pan. Stir in the creme fraiche and then spaghetti squash strands, tossing lightly to incorporate the mushrooms and cream into the spaghetti squash. Add the sage and goat cheese and toss again. Season with plenty of salt and pepper to taste.