Wild Mushroom Pasta Primavera with Dryads Saddle and Chicken of the Woods

Wild Mushroom Pasta

Singing the theme tune to Indiana Jones while watching the Last Crusade , I am very excited that the new film is coming out and only hope its is not the stab in the heart of my childhood that the Star Wars prequels came to be . Deep breaths deep breathes

I was doing my own wild adventuring this weekend foraging on what was supposed to be a simple and quick sunday stroll , the lovely boyfreind was abandoned as I scrabbled up and down banks. I am loving how green the woods have suddenly become and cannot believe it but some fungi is already making itself visible

Chicken of the Woods – Laetiporus sulphureus

Chicken of the Woods

Gathering Chicken of the Woods a hard to miss luminious yellow / orange edible fungi growing on trees and stumps. Much sought after in the USA where it is used as an addition to casseroles. It does become tough sawdusty & bitter with age so fresh, young specimens are best collected. You can tell if it is too old by the colours, which tend to fade from striking bright yellows and oranges to dull yellow and, finally, pure white.

I have used slightly older specimens in a tasty Chicken of the Woods Risotto, this recipe would work with any wild mushrooms , in another wild mushroom risotto recipe – Hedgehog Mushroom and Squash Risotto

Chicken of the Woods Risotto

Chicken of the Woods Mushroom Risotto

Serves 4

100g of Chicken of the Woods Fungus – thickly sliced
200g of risotto rice
2 cloves of garlic
2tbsp of butter
Salt and Pepper
2 pints of hot vegetable or chicken stock
1 lemon juiced
Handful of fresh thyme

  1. Fry the chicken of the woods mushroom with the butter and garlic til softened
  2. Add the ristotto rice til coated in butter
  3. Add a ladle full of stock, stir until absorbed
  4. Continue to add the stock a ladle full at a time stirring well
  5. Continue adding the stock in this way, until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is plump and tender.
  6. Add the thyme , lemon juice season with salt and pepper

Dryads Saddle -Polyporus squamosus

Young Dryads Saddle

I also managed to gather some of these young specimens of Dryads Saddle ( Polyporus squamosus ) . Annually these are found on deciduous trees elm, beech and
sycamore in spring to summer, annual.
Though better camaflaged than the Chicken of the Woods , these are certainly not out of place in a science fiction illustration . like the Chicken of the Woods . these become musty and inedible as they get older , although a sneaky and delcious method is to batter and deep fry thick strips of older brackets making Dryads Calimari

Harvest of Baby Dryads Saddle and Chicken of the Woods Mushroom


With young a tasty sample of both the Dryads Saddle and Chicken of the Woods , I wanted a light dinner, I have that great sense of full summer on its way , this dish packs a fungal punch , the wild garlic and thyme adding some gentle herb notes , you could use oil rather than the soft cheese or make a proper roux sauce but I think the soft cheese adds a nice sour note which works well

Wild Mushroom Pasta Primavera

50g of Dryads Saddle Mushroom
50g of Chicken of the Woods Mushroom
50g of dried pasta
1 tbsp of soft cheese
1/2 cup of white wine
1 tbsp of chopped wild garlic
1 tsp of thyme
Salt & Pepper

  1. Boil the pasta for 10 minutes drain
  2. Simmer the mushrooms in the white wine add the thyme and wild garlic, season with salt and pepper
  3. Add the cooked pasta to the mushrooms
  4. Stir in the soft cheese
  5. Serve



  1. I’ll make a risotto with the next chicken of the woods I find – it sounds ideal for it. I find this mushroom benefits from a bit of wet heat when cooking. The pasta recipe sounds delicious too.
    This page has made me hungry!

  2. Oh, nice! These look delicious.

    I had some chicken of the woods tonight, although I bought mine, as I am not brave enough to forage! Not until someone can educate me at least šŸ™‚

  3. This looks great, I cooked up some Chicken of the woods the other day but it didnt taste very nice. I think a risotto is a great idea. Sadly I am a more enthusiastic forager than cook. By the cooking stage I tend to get a bit slapdash and make whatever seems easiest at the time, that doesnt always work too well.

  4. very nice recipes. I will be using them as a reference next time I find a slab o’ chickens. did not know this booger grew in the UK. is it possibly introduced?

  5. I have made the risotto with Chicken of the Woods, it was fabulous, in fact I keep making it because I keep finding more of them. I add GORGONZOLA to it, then die from the awesomeness of it.

    Tonight I’m trying the Pasta Primavera with Dryad’s Saddle, as I just found my first ones today (having just become a real mushroom freak about 2 months ago).

    Your site is gorgeous, the recipes are so easy, you’ve really got the touch! And the food pictures are particularly fabulous, your writing is fabulous, all is fabulous. You really convey the special thrill and appreciation of scoring great ingredients.

  6. naturally like your web site but you need to test the spelling on quite a few of your posts. A number of them are rife with spelling problems and I in finding it very bothersome to tell the reality then again I will definitely come again again.

  7. We’ve just tried your Chicken of the Woods risotto recipe after finding some beautiful young ones at the Savernake forsest in Wiltshire, England. This recipe is the best one I’ve seen and so easy to make. We were completely blown away with the results! The mushroom really soaks up the flavour of everything and is soooooo meaty. We added a splash of white wine to our frying pan and wow…..I’ve never tasted anything like it. A whole new culinary experience. Thanks so much for your article and your recipe. X

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