Back in the saddle again

22 May


Here is a close up of a young Dryad’s saddle AKA pheasant’s back mushroom (Polyporus squamosus). It has a very unmushroomy scent something like watermelon rind.


I originally tried Dryad’s saddle around 30 years ago and haven’t given it a second chance till I found a young mushroom last fall and decided to see if anyone had any recipes on the web for this mushroom as I usually during those days of old only tried new wild mushrooms fried in butter with a touch of salt and Dryad’s saddle at that time wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t in the same league as Cep or Chanterelle.


As you can see I have my tent pole out again and these mushrooms are in around 13 feet of the ground. The recipe I did find last fall changed my mind completely on the quality of Dryad’s saddle as a wild edible mushroom though I didn’t follow the recipe fully as no pesto or cream were added to the mushrooms and onions, though I did cut the mushrooms into the small pieces as they suggested, instead of the pesto and cream  I added some sea salt and plain whole milk yogurt after the heat was turned of the mushrooms and it was one of the nicest wild mushroom surprises of the year for me. Here is the recipe from


You may also find Dyrad’s saddle AKA Pheasant’s back mushroom on downed Elm trees which makes for easy pickings, but that wasn’t the case for me today, they are much harder to knock out of the trees than oyster mushrooms as you can see these came down in pieces from the outer edges which happens to be the most tender part of the mushroom. click on to have a look at the tops and under side of the mushroom. These are common along river floodplains where many old elms died off from dutch elm disease in recent decades.


6 Responses to “Back in the saddle again”

  1. Jay May 22, 2013 at 11:54 pm #

    Giddyup! 😉

  2. mobius faith May 23, 2013 at 8:51 am #

    I’ve photographed a lot of these lately. It’s amazing how big they can become. I’ve often wondered if this fungi was edible. Now I know. Thanks. 🙂

  3. cara May 23, 2013 at 11:38 am #

    This is making me so jealous!. I want to go out foraging so bad but can’t because of my accident. I’m going to live vicariously through your posts if thats ok!

    • 1left May 23, 2013 at 6:39 pm #

      Hi cara, Your attitude is inspiring, nature will have you back out there soon. As the recovery progresses it is actually a good time to do some research and prepare a bit. May each breath be a healing one. ciao

  4. Jeremy DuCheny May 23, 2013 at 4:57 pm #

    I just saw in these in the woods the other day while harvesting leeks with my family. I wondered if they were edible. Do you know of any poisonous look alikes?

    • 1left May 23, 2013 at 7:12 pm #

      David Spahr list a couple of smaller (caps 8 cm) polyporus on hardwoods yet I never seen them in my area. If they have very large caps and are on dead elm in May you should be good. For some excellent edible info and pictures on Dryad’s saddle check out ( ) In the left column under pored mushrooms. ciao

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