Why did the mushroom get invited to all the parties? Because he’s a fungi! Mushrooms are also delicious, simple to prepare, and packed with nutrients. They have a uniquely savory flavor while containing nearly no salt, and are a great source of amino acids, iron, and vitamin B, as well as the minerals selenium and zinc. A single portobello mushroom contains as much potassium as a banana.
Local mushrooms can be purchased through M.V. Mycological, and at the West Tisbury Farmers Market. When shopping for mushrooms, look for those that are firm and dry, avoiding those that are slimy or bruised. Mushrooms are best stored unwashed in a paper bag in the refrigerator.
This month, try a roasted portobello in a sandwich, or on top of a hamburger or veggie burger. You can also sauté some shiitakes with an onion for an easy side dish, or add them to kabobs with your favorite meat, fish, and vegetables.
Pick up some local mushrooms and try our featured recipe — Mushroom Spread.
Recipe by Robin Forte
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 medium-size leeks, white part only, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lb. white mushrooms, sliced
½ lb. shiitake mushrooms, sliced, stems removed
1½ tsp. fresh thyme, chopped
½ lb. firm tofu
¼ cup fine dry breadcrumbs
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
In a large sauté pan, heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Sauté leeks several minutes. Add garlic and continue to cook until leeks are tender. Remove from pan and set aside to cool. Heat remaining oil in sauté pan. Add white and shiitake mushrooms. Cook approximately 10 minutes or until moisture has cooked away. Add thyme and set aside to cool.
When vegetables have cooled, add to food processor, along with remaining ingredients. Purée until combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place spread in a bowl and refrigerate. Serve with bread, crackers, or vegetables to dip.
Ava Castro is a garden educator for Island Grown Schools, the Vineyard’s farm-to-school program.