1.17.2011

Spectacular spores


Mushrooms are an interesting ingredient. I often wonder how these strange and delicious fungi have come to be such a common, everyday item on our grocery list. There are many mushroom varieties – shitaki, oyster, button, portobello, chanterelle, pineforest, to name just a few. Since some mushroom varieties are poisonous, I can’t help but wonder about the number of people who risked their lives to try this marvelous fleshy substance…
For many vegetarians and vegans, mushrooms represent a hearty, meaty alternative but they are often overlooked as a stand-alone dish. They are unlike any vegetable in flavour and texture and you’ll find mushrooms to be a great carrier of both strong and gentle aromas. While there are a million ways to serve mushrooms, I love to sauté or bake them and dress them with mustard, olive oil, fresh herbs, garlic and lots of lemon. 
Since they are little sponges of flavour, never, ever wash your mushrooms as they will end up watery and tasteless. Simply brush off the dirt, slice and cook. I place them in a hot pan with the slight bit of oil – add salt and let their natural juices come out for them to cook in.


baked mushrooms
serves 2 (or 4 as appetizer)

12 baby portobello mushrooms
sea salt and black pepper
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp mustard – like French dijon
½ tsp dried chili
1 lemon, (use half for zest and all juice)
1 garlic clove – grated/minced
1 tbsp fresh parsley chopped

Preheat oven to 200 degrees C
In a bowl, mix extra-virgin olive oil, mustard, chili, lemon zest and juice, minced garlic and parsley.  Leave emulsion to sit aside while you prepare mushrooms. Brush dirt off mushrooms – slice into halves and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake mushrooms in oven for 5-8 minutes, take out and pour over lemon emulsion and bake for another 5 minutes or so. To serve, drizzle a little more extra-virgin olive oil on the mushrooms and serve with fresh crusty baguette.  Don’t forget a glass of wine! Enjoy.



10 comments:

  1. This looks beautiful - mushrooms are a special favourite of mine. I think they taste best like this without anything to distract from their own flavour - great post !

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  2. I adore mushrooms and I love the simplistic elegance of this :)

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  3. This is really very interesting way to eat mushrooms.I love them, but my husband dosent! So i guess I can bake a big batch just for myself..

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  4. These are some gorgeous mushrooms, simply prepared yet mouth-watering.

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  5. My husband is addicted to mushrooms - he would love this. Maybe a good Valentine's day treat? Thanks for sharing!

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  6. So are pineforest mushrooms edible? I think I just saw some in the forest and I wondered what they were!

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  7. Hi all - thanks for the sweet words!

    As for pineforest mushrooms they were quite edible and delicious! I hadn't seem them before but found them at a nearby market...will definitely try them again.

    Yes Virginia, I think this would be a great Valentine's treat!

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  8. My goodness, what beautiful bruschetta those mushrooms make. It looks so flavourful and meaty.
    *kisses* HH

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  9. How did I miss you blog all these days. Glad to be here and I have fallen in love with your pictures. Ciao

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  10. baby ports are on my grocery list every week for sure :) I use them to top pizzas, mixed in with chillis, the possibilities are endless! I must admit I've never baked them before though! Will have to give it a try :)

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