One of the most interesting additions to our local food universe is the new availability of farm-raised gourmet mushrooms. This month, Mushroom Maggie’s, a Red Stick Farmers Market vendor, will have a wide variety of mushrooms to get you started with your healthy eating goals. (Read our story on the farm here.)
Husband-wife team Maggie Long and Cyrus Lester, who run the farm, say they’ll bring the following varieties to the market in January:
Pioppino: Firm, mellow and nutty; try in soups, sauces and stews
Shiitake: Buttery and meaty; great for stir-frying
Chestnut: Mild and versatile; use on pizza or in omelets
Lion’s Mane: Mild, sweet with a slight crabmeat flavor; add to crab cakes or seafood pasta
King Trumpet (also known as King Oyster): Mellow seafood flavor; great for grilling or sautéing
Oyster (Italian and Grey): Umami flavor makes this super versatile; try in Asian-inspired soups
The mushroom’s health benefits are much extolled these days, and its culinary applications are endless. One of my favorite ways to use gourmet or wild mushrooms is on toast. Mushroom toast is delicious as an appetizer or as a meal served with soup or salad. It’s also easy to prepare.
The basic concept is to finely dice and saute your favorite mushroom, or combination of mushrooms, with minced garlic and fresh herbs. Thyme and rosemary work especially well. Meanwhile, place some slices of hardy, whole grain bread on a baking sheet and broil lightly. Spoon on a bit of the mushroom sauté, then top with slices of your favorite nutty cheese, like Gruyere or Emmenthaler, and broil again. Plate the toast, and top with microgreens or fresh thyme. It’s a cozy but elegant way to enjoy the full flavor of gourmet mushrooms.
Maggie Heyn Richardson is a regular 225 contributor. Reach her at hungryforlouisiana.com.