What makes oyster mushrooms so unique?

When cooked, oyster mushrooms have a delicate, velvetlike flavor. They are popular ingredients for a string of recipes. Being so wholesome, they are filling and a good meat substitute. Oyster mushrooms can stand alone as a dish. Brighten up your salads with the lovely Summer White Oyster mushroom. Yes, you can eat it raw, and it makes an attractive addition.

 Whether fried in oil and garlic, sauteed in butter, cooked with a cheese sauce, or grilled, oyster mushrooms have a superb taste. Buttery, fried oyster mushrooms serve as a tasty snack, especially paired with beer. They make a delicious side-dish and a savory filling for sandwiches. 

Have caramelized mushrooms at the ready!

The beauty of caramelized mushrooms is that you can prepare them in advance, keep in the fridge, or store in the deep freeze for use later on. Their rich flavor is perfect for enhancing a burger or serving as a topping for steak or tenderloin.

Prepare two cups of mushrooms at a time. Give the fungi a quick rinse and pat dry with a paper towel. You can choose whether to leave them whole or roughly cut them in big slices.

Melt 1/2 stick of butter in a big pan, and pour in 2 tablespoons oil. The next indispensable ingredient is garlic, preferably freshly minced. I keep a ready jar in my fridge. Add a generous heaped teaspoon. 

Heat the pan and add the mushrooms, spreading them out. If the pan is too full, divide the mushrooms and repeat the process. The generous quantity of butter and oil coats the toadstools and brings out their flavor.  

Stir in one onion or two spring onions, finely chopped, and let it simmer. A dash of Worcester sauce will help the caramelization process. When glazed, turn down the heat. You want the mushrooms ‘crusty’, so do not stir them too much!

 and Seasonings, too!

When it comes to seasonings, the world is your oyster – I couldn’t resist that one!

There are the usual salt and pepper, but be brave and try any one of the varieties of exciting salt and pepper combinations on the market. Do not be scared to experiment a little. The mushrooms can handle it! 

Going Mediterranean? There are some interesting ready-mix herbs on the store shelves, or stick to the tried-and-tested parsley, and ring the changes with a sprig of fresh thyme. 

Or, if you’re feeling bold, add half-a-teaspoon of coriander, turmeric, cumin, or curry powder to the butter and oil mix before adding the garlic, onion, and mushrooms. Feel free to experiment with the exotic additions - the mushrooms will be forgiving! 

You will love your caramelized mushrooms, ready to use as you wish.

 And you can grow your own in your kitchen with the GREENBOX FAMILY FARM MUSHREOOM KIT!

written by Elsa Dixon, Ph.D; TravelswithElsa.com