Hedgehog Mushroom 
Executive Chef Mark Fontana      ~      Bogey’s at Stone Creek
                                            Makanda, Illinois
TIP: Soft spines or bristles always crowd the underside of Hedgehog Mushroom caps, making this species easy to identify safely. You might need a magnifying glass to notice the fragile spines, especially when the mushrooms are young and the spines are crowded closely together.  In age, the expanded, mature mushrooms reveal their brittle spines easily.
                                    Why dump boring, raw slices of ordinary mushrooms on a salad 
                                            when you can saute fresh Hedgehog Mushrooms and serve them hot over a fresh iceberg lettuce salad--with blue cheese? Chilled lettuce salads beg to be improved with something strong. And in mid-autumn, when hungry mushroom hunters wander back from the woods with a few dozen Hedgehog Mushrooms, the returning foragers will have no interest in a cold salad unless it includes a hearty, full-flavored punch to kick off a fall feast. Warm blankets of Hedgehog Mushrooms will make every salad eater wonder why they ever, even once, ate mushrooms raw on a salad. Cooking brings out the flavor of mushrooms. If you’ve ever eaten Yellow Chanterelles, imagine Yellow Chanterelles with a hint of walnut. 
You can learn more about this mushroom, where to find it and how to identify potential look-alikes in the new book “Edible Wild Mushrooms of Illinois and Surrounding States” (2009 University of Illinois Press).  http://www.press.uillinois.edu/books/catalog/94awe4yz9780252076435.htmlshapeimage_5_link_0
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