Mushrooms are so versatile we can eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They add a note of delicious creativity to diverse dishes. Plus they deliver protein, vitamins and protective compounds. Fresh is always best and just-picked is better, although dried can work in a pinch.
Mushroom Pâtéby Andrew Lenzer
Present a perfect appetizer for dinner with friends. The savory quality of mushrooms—what the Japanese call umami—make them a welcome alternative to meat-based pâtés.
Approx 4 cups whole fresh shiitake mushrooms (2 cups after chopping) Approx 4 cups whole fresh maitake mushrooms (2 cups after chopping) 12 oz cream cheese or rice-based cream cheese substitute 2 cloves garlic 2 cups dry roasted hazelnuts 2 sprigs parsley Soy sauce Olive oil Sesame oil Salt and pepper to taste
Finely chop the hazelnuts in a food processor and set aside.
Coarsely chop the shiitake (including the stems) and maitake mushrooms in a food processor.
Coat the surface of a wok in olive oil and sauté mushrooms in 1-cup batches over medium-high-to-high heat, adding soy sauce as needed to keep the mixture from burning, for approximately 10 minutes per batch. Add a touch of sesame oil just before removing each batch.
Place hazelnuts, mushrooms, cream cheese, garlic, salt and pepper in the food processor and blend until smooth but still slightly grainy. Add parsley and blend until parsley is finely chopped and evenly distributed throughout the mixture.
Serve with crackers or fresh crusty bread.
My Tacosby Cate Moss
Makes a healthy filling for tacos and enchiladas, or crumble as a topper on deluxe nachos. They taste as good as they smell, and like chili they taste almost better as leftovers.
Fills 12 large tacos, or more paired with fillings such as chopped leafy lettuce or guacamole.
1-2 cups of chopped stropharia, shiitake or maitake mushrooms 1 cup crumbled tempeh or other healthful protein source ¼ cup chopped onions ½ cup sunflower seeds or chopped almonds ¼ cup sesame seeds 1 cup corn 1 chopped sweet pepper (add hot peppers if desired) 1 small handful of chopped olives 4 shakes of soy sauce 1 Tbsp spiced hot chocolate 2 Tbsp chili powder 1 Tbsp ground cumin ¼ cup nutritional yeast 2 cloves of chopped garlic 1 cup broth or water
Sauté mushrooms, protein and onions until crispy (uncrowded in the pan). Then add remaining ingredients and braise on low heat. Allow mixture to cook down to desired consistency.
Hot & Sour Cauliflower Mushroom Soupby Loni Jean Ronnebaum
This rare mushroom has a unique firmness reminiscent of noodles and can be soaked and rinsed to clean, and then cut into cauliflower-like chunks. Slow cook overnight for best results.
Yields 8 servings
2-4 lb fresh cauliflower mushrooms 16 oz kimchi ½ cup peas 1 20-oz can crushed pineapple 1 32-oz vegetable broth 1 egg or ¼ cup egg substitute Chili paste, black pepper, garlic powder, ginger and soy sauce to taste
Combine ingredients (except egg) in a pot and bring to a boil. Add beaten egg to the boiling soup while gently stirring. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer overnight.
Recipes courtesy of employees of Fungi Perfecti, LLC; photos courtesy of Paul Stamets.