More than mere decoration in a salad, the mushroom stars as a main ingredient.
A mushroom omelette, pizza, a casserole, a soup, a cooked pasta sauce (cream or tomato based), or a marinade of lemon juice, olive or flaxseed oil, lemon thyme, garlic and 400 grams of raw fresh Button mushrooms with lots of chopped parsley and freshly ground pepper are all beaut mushroom meals. Top hot spaghetti with this marinade, grate some cheddar or Parmesan cheese over the top and mmm mushrooms.
Cooking this together is a terrific way to get the household together and keep everyone quiet for at least twenty minutes.
Lucky for us cultivated mushrooms are available all year round. The most common mushroom (Agaricus bisporus) is easily obtained at various stages of development and the best keepers of the lot are the smallest Buttons. There are also Cups and Flats representing different stages of growth.
Swiss Browns (the original Agaricus bisporus before market forces meant that most mushrooms produced for sale are whitish rather than brown) with their robust flavour are available as Buttons or when full opened as Portobello mushrooms that grill well. When they grow into mature flat mushrooms, they are called Portabella mushrooms.
Two hundred grams of mushies supply a quarter of our daily fibre and protein needs and give us roughly 25 calories. There’s no salt or fat in mushroom unless, of course, we add it to them in the form of butter, cream, white wine and pecorino cheese over. (Yum!)
To store: keep your mushrooms in their paper bags in the fridge and they should last 5 days.
To clean: wipe any dirt away with a clean damp cloth or a damp piece of paper towel. If they’re very old cut off the bottom of the stems.
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1 tbs fresh ginger, grated
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 200g button mushrooms
- 1 tbs curry powder, (or Curry Masters choose your favourite)
- 1/4 cup tomatoes, chopped
- 1/4 cup thick natural yogurt
- 40 gms silverbeet leaves
- ¼ cup coriander leaves
- Heat a wok over high heat. Add oil and heat until hot. Add ginger, garlic, curry powder and mushrooms and stir-fry for 2 minutes or until light golden.
- Add tomatoes and stir-fry 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Remove from the heat. Add yoghurt, stir until well coated. Reduce heat to medium. Return wok to the heat and cook 1-2 minutes or until heated through. Add spinach or rocket and cook 1 minute or until wilted.
- Serve over basmati rice, topped with coriander.