We really appreciate mushrooms. They’re what we call a “bonus” food: extremely low in calories and a versatile ingredient in cooked foods from omelets to rice pilaf to meat loaf to sauces.
They’re also delicious raw. Our marinated mushroom salad is very popular (recipe below) and we typically serve mushrooms with other crudités and dip. But we were newly inspired by this mushroom carpaccio from Qunciple.com (a produce delivery service like a CSA, but representing the best of many farmers).
A beautiful presentation, you can make a large platter for a buffet or to pass at the table, or prepare individual plates.
RECIPE: MUSHROOM CARPACCIO
Ingredients For 2 Servings
1/2 pound white button mushrooms, wiped cleaned
4-6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (we use basil oil or
Salt and pepper
Fresh herbs for garnish: basil or parsley
A pretty presentation: mushroom carpaccio garnished with basil leaves. Photo by Julia Gartland | Quinciple.
Ideally use a mandolin, which makes uniform slices and can cut them as thin as possible.
If you don’t yet have a mandoline, it’s a good excuse to get one. They don’t take up much room, and if you cook regularly, you’ll appreciate the convenience it provides in slicing fruits and vegetables, including crinkle and waffle cuts; as well as cheese and chips. You want one that’s slip-free, has multiple attachments (to make different shapes), and the indispensible hand guard. This mandoline has it all.
1. HOLD each mushroom by the stem and use the mandoline to cut very thin slices off the top of the mushroom cap. Stop before you reach the stem. Remove the stems (they will still have some of the cap attached); you can add them to grains, omelets, sauces, soups or stocks.
USING A KNIFE: If you don’t have a mandolin use a large, sharp knife. Lay each cap flat on a cutting board and trim one edge, slicing off 1/8″ or so. Turn the cap on its edge so that the cut side is flush against the board and the mushroom is steady on the board. Slice the mushrooms as thinly as you can.
2. ARRANGE the mushrooms on one or two plates in overlapping concentric circles (start at the outside and work your way to the center). Season with salt and pepper. Just before serving, finish the plate(s) with a generous squeeze of lemon and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle with fresh herbs and serve.
Top: Marinated mushrooms in a lettuce cup;
photo courtesy Taste Of Home. Bottom:
Marinated mushrooms with a side of dressed
greens. Photo courtesy A Shifted Perspective.
RECIPE: RAW MUSHROOM SALAD
This recipe is so flexible, you can add whatever you like: baby corn, capers, fennel, etc. You can also use other than white mushrooms, and it’s even more interesting with an assortment of mushrooms. Check out the options in our Mushroom Glossary.
1 8-ounce container white mushrooms
1 tablespoon sea salt
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon wine or sherry vinegar (or more to taste)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon lemon zest
Freshly ground black pepper
Fresh herbs (basil, chives, dill, oregano, parsley, thyme), minced (we use two different herbs)
Optional ingredients for color: diced red pepper or pimento, red onions, sliced green onions or chives
Optional ingredients for variety: broccoli or cauliflower florets, edamame, sliced olives
Optional heat: 1 chili, seeded and white pith removed, finely sliced
Baby arugula, baby spinach, mesclun, watercress or lettuce/cabbage/radicchio cups
1. CLEAN the mushrooms and pat dry. Place in a colander over a bowl and sprinkle with the sea salt. Toss to coat thoroughly. Let stand for about 30 minutes so the salt can remove excess water from the mushrooms. Brush any remaining salt from the mushrooms with a mushroom brush or a paper towel.
2. COMBINE the marinade ingredients in a bowl: olive oil, vinegar, garlic, lemon zest, pepper and herbs. Toss the mushrooms in the marinade to coat. (We don’t add salt at this stage because of the residue salt on the mushrooms.)
3. COVER the bowl refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend (we often let it sit overnight). Taste and adjust the seasonings.
4. SERVE as desired. We enjoy marinated mushrooms as a salad course, along with dressed greens.