You may be chomping at the bit for the first spring vegetables to arrive in the market (we’re waiting for asparagus and ramps). But until then, there is veggie excitement to be had; and we’ll be talking about them for the next two days.
Mushrooms offer flavorful excitement, and are a cook’s delight: They absorb a lot of flavor quickly, and can be prepared in so many ways. For starters, consider:
Carpaccio (try this recipe from chef Claire Robinson)
Fried (try these portobello fries)
Omelets, scrambled eggs
Mushrooms Parmigiania, prepared like Eggplant Parmigiania
Pasta dishes (add it to fettuccine, lasagna, ramen, ravioli, anything)
Risotto or pilaf
Roasted or grilled
Sauces and gravies
Sautéed alone (with red wine and fresh herbs!) or with other favorites (broccoli, spinach, turnips, whatever)
Sautéed with any protein (Chicken Marsala is a favorite)
Mushroom salad atop a bed of baby arugula. Photo courtesy Olio e Piú | New York City.
Soup (try cream of mushroom with chunks of sautéed mushrooms)
Stuffed, with vegetarian, cheese, meat or seafood fillings (try bacon or sausage)
Stuffing, savory bread pudding, savory tarts, crostini
Topping for grains or polenta and of course, pizza
Today’s tip requires no cooking; that is, no heat. It’s marinated mushrooms, also known as mushroom salad: delicious as an appetizer, a side, a sandwich topper or as part of an antipasto.
You can add other raw vegetables; we’ve provided options below.
Marinated mushrooms can be made with any mushroom (here are the different mushroom types). Unless you’ve got deep pockets, go for the least expensive, which are typically white button mushrooms. Smaller are better, since you’ll be cutting them up.
Of course, you an use any mushroom: cremini, oyster, portabello, shiitake or a mixture. We’ve even used enoki mushrooms for an exotic garnish.
The only given is that the mushrooms be fresh. Those that are beginning to brown or wither are best used in a cooked dish.
Marinated mushrooms with walnut and tahini
yogurt. Photo courtesy Collier’s Market. Here’s
RECIPE: RAW MUSHROOM SALAD
1 8-ounce container white mushrooms (or other mushroom)
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 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.
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 from the mushrooms.)
3. COVER the bowl refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
4. SERVE as desired. We enjoy it atop a bed of greens or in a lettuce cup.
Try this recipe for Marinated Mushrooms with Walnut and Tahini Yogurt from Kristin Collier of the blog ColliersMarket.com.