Wild Mushroom Sauté with Bacon, Herbs and Cous Cous – Foraging in Telluride

by Marla on August 17, 2011 · 72 comments

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Wild mushrooms with bacon and herbs by Marla Meridith Last summer my awesome pal Chris proposed a wild mushroom hunt up in Lizard Head just outside Telluride. Since I never venture off piste the grand forage never happened. It was on my mind all year to get out there and do it. The day after we arrived this trip we made it happen. Mushroom hunting is a blast! Have you ever done it? It is amazing to hunt for your own food.

Great news….I will be regularly contributing to the Marcus Samuelsson blog. Please check out my Lemonade Cucumber Spa Popsicles over there.

Hiking in Telluride Summer 2011

Lizard Head is very pretty and has views of Wilson Peak. That mountain is pictured in Coors Beer graphics. This is a great location to pick lots of mushrooms. If you end up there leave some for me OK?

Marla Meridith Wild Mushrooms in Colorado

The weather leading up to our hunt had been just right….gloomy, rainy and very damp. The perfect conditions for mushrooms to grow.

Wild mushroom hunt in Lizard Head Telluride, CO

Chris taught us what mushrooms were safe to eat. Chanterelles and King Boletes were the ones to look out for. *yum*

He also taught us which ones were not safe…..*run away*

Mushroom Hunt in Lizard Head Telluride, CO

By the way isn’t Chris cute? We met each other a few years ago at the local Telluride Elks Lodge at the Spaghetti Sauce Pasta Cook-Off. He is the inventor of this awesome workout called Playground Pump.

He loves great food and fitness like me.

Mushroom forage in Lizard Head near Telluride

Did you know that Telluride has a Mushroom Festival? Yup. All kinds of mushrooms are celebrated here….all kinds. It’s called the shroomfest in case you are wondering. It’s in it’s 31st year. Can you imagine the celebrations that took place back in the 70’s? Do you think they remember those shroom fests?!

Chanterelles and King Boletes mushrooms

It was so fun being in the back country. When not chatting all I could hear was the pitter patter of the raindrops, the crunch of leaves and a gentle breeze. Heavenly.

Wild mushrooms with bacon and herbs by Marla Meridith

During the entire hunt I could not stop thinking about what I would cook up with these gems. The Chanterelles are such a beautiful shade of yellow and they have a distinct sweet smell like apricots….can you believe that?! The King Boletes are large dense mushrooms that have a stronger flavor. Both are wonderful and pair well together.

Telluride Summer in Lizard Head CO. Mushroom hunt.

With such wonderful, fresh ingredients you don’t need much. A little olive oil or butter (in this case both) and a pinch of salt creates complete perfection. Bacon and fresh herbs make them even better. I plated this with a gluten free brown rice cous cous.

Wild mushrooms with bacon and herbs by Marla Meridith

Have you ever hunted for wild mushrooms? What are your favorite mushroom recipes?

Wild Mushroom Sauté with Bacon, Herbs and Cous Cous

Makes 4 servings


  • Feel free to use quinoa, rice or pasta with this dish.
  • Pull any fresh herbs from your garden & experiment with flavors.
  • It can be very expensive to purchase wild mushrooms at the store. This would taste great with white mushrooms or a mix of what you find easily & affordably.
  • I like to cook my cous cous in vegetable and chicken broth. It adds lots of flavor.


  • 1 cup Brown Rice Cous Cous, cook according package directions
  • 4 strips Turkey Bacon, you can also use Vegan or Pork, cook and break into small pieces
  • 1o ounces Wild Mushrooms, cleaned and trimmed into bite pieces
  • 4 cloves minced Garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Butter
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • a bunch of fresh Herbs, I like Rosemary and Thyme


  • shaved Parmesan or Romano Cheese
  • crumbles of Feta
  • a dash of Smoked Paprika


In a medium sauté pan heat butter and olive oil over medium high heat, lightly brown garlic in pan. Add mushrooms and cook for 3-4 minutes until soft. Mix in some herbs and chopped bacon. Plate with cous cous, fresh herbs and cheese if desired.

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Mushroom Recipe Links

Family Fresh Cooking disclosure: If you ever go mushroom hunting be sure to completely understand what you pick and take home to eat. Please consult your local mycologist (mushroom expert) to know which shrooms are edible and which are not. The wrong mushrooms can be toxic or deadly.

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