Yay mushrooms!! As a vegetarian who doesn’t love soy, I substitute mushrooms in a lot of meat dishes. There are so many kinds of mushrooms out there…nice looking ones to weird ugly ones. What’s a girl to do? Experiment! Walk straight up to that mushroom section of the grocery store and say, today I’m going to try something new! If your mushroom world consists of button mushrooms, trust me, you are going to love what I’m writing about today! Expand your knowledge and try something new!! In my house mushrooms are almost an everyday food. Last night, I had Autumn and Carolina over for some food and mushroom talk! Main mushroom conversation: Truffles!! (more on those later) They are doing great! Autumn also has just started an herb and lettuce garden and she shared the results with us!
Ok, enough about us! Let’s talk mushrooms! Here are five that I love using!
These are pretty funny looking mushrooms. They may look funny, but they are quite tasty! I love them in salads, with quinoa or cold couscous. They have a very nice light almost fruit flavor. Only serve these guys raw.
Chances are most of you probably know about portobello mushrooms. They are becoming a staple on restaurant menus across the country. They are very flavorful and make a great meat substitute. I love them sauteed, in sauces and mostly grilled as a burger substitute! So yummy! One of my other favorite things to do with a portobello is actually an Argentine dish. Grill the portobello, lay the gill side up and top with some garlic sauteed spinach. So simple and sooo good.
Shiitake mushrooms are mainly used in Asian cooking. Here in the states, we mostly get them dried. Simply soak them in water a few minutes to rehydrate them. They are the base of a good miso soup and taste fabulous in Chinese stir fry! Give them a try! They are LOADED with anti-oxidants!
Hen of the Woods Mushroom
This is a mushroom that is just gaining popularity and you may have a harder time finding it. It looks like brains, but doesn’t taste like them! They have a very earthy portobello flavor. These guys are best used cooked. You have to cook them thoroughly! They can be really tough if not. You can saute these, use them with pasta or put them in soup. Super yummy!
There are thousands of different kinds of truffles, but four main ones that are often used. There are white, black, chinese and summer. White truffles are the most prized. They are found in Italy, grow underground and cannot be farmed. The “hunting” season for truffles is October. If you live in or near a big city chances are a restaurant is featuring truffles this month. Most truffle dishes in a restaurant range from $50 to $200 a plate! If this is a little out of your price range, there are all sorts of options: truffle oil, truffle butter, truffle cheese, truffle honey etc. etc. etc. You just want to find products with little bits of actual truffle in them. If not, there is a chemical based truffle flavor with which most oils are flavored. If you have never experienced truffles definitely try them! My favorite way of using truffles is to saute a mix of button mushrooms, portobello, garlic and fresh parsley with some truffle butter or oil. Then I serve it over some fresh pasta.
Mushrooms are so yummy for the fall with their nice earthy flavor, so pick some up for tonight!