It's Mushroom Season
November is peak 'shroom season when local foragers head to the forests in search of the season's best fungi. Lucky for local lovers of unami, one of the region's top gourmet mushroom producers, E&H Farms, brings their prized crops—cinnamon caps, shiitakes, oysters, lion's mane, reishi, wood ear, king trumpet, and maitake—to the Walnut Creek Farmers Market on Sundays.
Do yourself a favor and sit down with a meaty plate of mushrooms. They’re loaded with tons of minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins, plus a satisfying substitute to meat.
Best Way To Sauté Mushrooms: This technique creates rich, flavorful mushrooms every time. Cook mushrooms, on their own, in a cast-iron skillet. Place a seasoned skillet on medium-high heat. Add chopped or sliced mushrooms to heated pan. Stir occasionally. In a minute or two they will begin to release water. Keep stirring and cooking for a few minutes until the mushrooms begin to brown and the water is gone. Add butter or olive oil and garlic. Add a pinch of salt to taste. Delish!
WILD MUSHROOM QUESADILLAS
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1-pound chanterelles, black trumpet, oyster, or cremini mushrooms, roughly chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup minced yellow onion
4 oz grated Oaxaca or domestic Muenster cheese
4 oz grated panela or aged mozzarella cheese
4 oz grated cotija or Parmesan cheese
⅓ cup finely chopped cilantro leaves
½ teaspoon dried oregano
Pinch of ground coriander
8 8-inch flour or corn tortillas
Directions: Place a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. When oil shimmers, add mushrooms and a generous pinch of salt. Sauté until mushrooms begin to brown, about 10 minutes. Add onions. Sauté until entire mixture is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Finely chop mushroom-onion mixture, then transfer to a large bowl. Add grated cheeses, cilantro, oregano, and coriander. Season with salt and pepper. Heat skillet over medium heat, add remaining 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Place a large spoonful of mushroom-cheese mixture into center of a tortilla and fold in half to make a half-moon. Place filled tortilla in heated skillet and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides and cheese is melted. Repeat. Serve immediately.
1 yellow onion, diced
1 cup sliced assorted fresh mushrooms (crimini, oyster, button)
1 tablespoon plus ¼ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 cloves chopped garlic
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated
¼ teaspoon dry mustard
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
1 ½ cups diced butternut squash (or pumpkin)
2 quarts low sodium chicken broth
3 oz. orange juice
Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
Plain yogurt for garnish
Directions: Toss squash with olive oil, ground cumin, salt and pepper. Place on a sheet pan and roast in 400 degree oven for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, sauté onions and mushrooms until soft in ¼ cup olive oil. Add grated ginger and garlic. Cook for 2 minutes. Add curry powder, cayenne, mustard, and cinnamon, then carrots, and celery. Cook for 5 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Add roasted squash, orange juice, and chicken broth to cover. Cook for 1 hour. Soup can be pureed or served as prepared. Garnish with fresh cilantro, red pepper flakes, and yogurt.
WALNUT CREEK FARMERS MARKET
(1 serving, but easily doubled or tripled)
1 cup mixed baby greens
5 cremini mushrooms, sliced
¼ avocado, sliced
1 poached egg
6-7 cherry size tomatoes, cut in half
Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place tomatoes on a parchment-lined cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil, roast for 10 minutes. While tomatoes are roasting, sauté mushrooms in lightly oiled frying pan. Cook until crisp-tender, about 6 minutes. Plate baby greens and avocado. Add mushrooms, roasted tomatoes, poached egg and feta cheese. Season with salt, red pepper flakes, or sesame seeds.
Poached Egg For One
Bring a small saucepan to a low boil. Crack an egg into a small cup or mason jar. With a slotted spoon stir boiling water to create a vortex, then pour egg into center of spinning water. A firm white egg and running yolk should take around four minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon.
KALE WITH BACON AND MUSHROOMS
(Serves 6 as a side)
6 cups fresh curly kale, cut into 1-2-inch sections
1/2 stick butter (or 4 tablespoons olive oil)
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tub button or cremini sliced mushrooms
1 large yellow onion, sliced into 1" pieces
6 slices of cooked bacon, crumbled
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
Directions: In a large pan, melt butter at medium-high heat. Sauté mushrooms, onions, and garlic for about 5 minutes, until onions are translucent and browning. Add balsamic and bacon pieces to the pan and stir to combine, sautéing 1-2 minutes. Add fresh kale and chicken broth, and cook until kale is fully wilted, about 4 minutes or until tender. Serve hot.
CINNAMON CAP MUSHROOM AND RICOTTA BRUSCHETTA
Extra-virgin olive oil
3 oz cinnamon cap mushrooms, trimmed
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 miniature sweet red peppers, seeded and sliced
4 tablespoons ricotta cheese, drained
A few sprouts of chives, snipped
Salt and pepper
4 slices sourdough bread
Directions: Heat frying pan with olive oil, add mushrooms in one layer, cook over medium heat. Add garlic and shake the pan to coat garlic with olive oil. Add peppers, salt, and pepper. Sauté’ gently for a few minutes until peppers have softened and mushrooms are golden. Drizzle bread with a bit of olive oil and toast. Top with ricotta, finish with vegetables, sprinkle with chives.