1. Hen of the Woods
Try them in Tomato sauce
Yes, there's poultry in the title. But tawny hen of the woods (also called maitake) taste big-time beefy. Try a mushroom "meat sauce" atop pasta, or spoon caramelized, chopped 'shrooms and onions onto steak.
Try them in spicy sauces and stews
May is prime time for morels, the Clark Kent of mushrooms. They look fragile but taste robust and meaty. Chefs say their powerful flavor can stand up to heat, strong spices and slow cooking. Their spongy caps soak up whatever you toss them in.
Try them in Soups
Small and pale, with skinny stems and barely-there heads, these Asian tree mushrooms taste as delicate as they look. They cook quickly in liquid without getting chewy -- perfect for tossing in at the end of brothy soups.
Try them on Crostini
These stylish fungi are subtle in flavor, with a mild sweetness and slight peppery afterkick, so they make a great breakfast or first course (they cook up as quickly as scrambled eggs). Sauté a handful and pile them on sourdough toast with fresh herbs and nutmeg.
Try them in Creamy dishes
They look like oysters, they taste like oysters -- well, kinda. Equally silvery and stylish, these broad-capped mushrooms taste briny and have a silky texture. Their creaminess works well in coconut- or milk-based curries and sauces, too.