Dryad’s Saddle Recipe – Soup Anyone?

A simple broth made with Dryad saddle mushroom and chopped vegetables

Dryad’s Saddle Shelf Mushroom

OK,  just a quick post on this fantastic mushroom I found while out walking the other day. Commonly known as Dryad’s Saddle or Pheasants back mushroom ( Polyporus squamosusOpens in a new tab. to the latin boffins  ) this is an edible mushroom that grows on the side of decideous trees such as oak, sycamore, walnut, or beech.

The mushroom appears July-August and has a thick meaty flesh. It is very short-lived and maggots soon turn the mushroom into a sticky mess within a few weeks of appearing.

I must admit I’m very wary off consuming wild mushrooms, even the Morel mushroom which I clearly recognise – so I consulted with a friend who knows her mushrooms!

farmhouse kitchen recipe book

I have to admit though that it is an excellent specimen which tastes and smells a bit like water melon! Best picked for eating before it gets to this size though, as the flesh becomes a bit tough and woody as it gets older.

And indeed the younger Fungi does make an excellent mushroom soup either dried or fresh picked.

Here’s a quick Dryad’s saddle recipe for broth courtesy of foragerchef.comOpens in a new tab.

recipe for dryad saddle broth
Dryad Saddle broth Recipe

Just a final note of caution here..be sure that you know your fungi before eating any specimens from the wild – they do have a tendancy to kill you if you get the species wrong!

dryads saddle mushroom
Bracket mushroom ‘Dryads Saddle’ on beech tree
Polyporus squamosus
You can easily see why it is called a ‘saddle’ Ideal for a wood nymph!

Update: I did come across a younger version later in the week and sliced it into an omlette for my breakfast – very tasty I have to say, not like the boring white button mushrooms I usually buy at the store – and I’m still alive, which means I picked the right mushrooms!

Update summer 2021 – found this weird-looking Dryad’s saddle growing in a dead sycamore tree-trunk in my own garden – time to put on the soup pot again 🙂

Dryads saddle mushroom growing on tree

Link to Farmhouse Kitchen Recipe book on AmazonOpens in a new tab.


  • 2 cups chopped fresh dryad's saddle mushrooms
  • 8 cups water
  • 1/4 cup each carrot, celery, onion chopped fine


  1. Heat a tbsp of cooking oil such as grapeseed or canola in a small sauce-pan big enough to hold the water. Cook the chopped carrot, onion and celery on medium heat for 10 minutes, keep an eye on the vegetables so they don't brown, you want a nice, light broth
  2. Add the water and dryad's saddle mushrooms, bring the mixture almost to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook for 2 hours, then strain the liquid through cheesecloth and serve.


Best Selling author of several no-dig gardening books, James has over 40 years of gardening knowledge and experience to share with like-minded gardening enthusiasts.

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