September is National Mushroom Month and that’s a reason to celebrate in my house. We love mushrooms and why not? They’re readily available year-round and are a great addition to soups, salads, pizzas and sauces. My husband is particularly fond of mushrooms, so I make sure I always have some on hand. You might be surprised to find out how many different varieties are available to eat–here are a few of the more popular:
- White Button Mushrooms – This variety is the most common and can be found in supermarkets everywhere. Available year-round, they hold their flavor well and can be used in almost any recipe (soup, stir-fry, etc.). Choose firm, white mushrooms with unopened caps and store in a paper bag rather than plastic so they will last longer in the refrigerator. To clean, rinse quickly or wipe with a damp cloth and make sure they are dry before cooking.
- Shiitake Mushrooms – Shiitake mushrooms are commonly used in many Asian cuisines and next to the white button mushroom, they are the second most cultivated mushroom in the world. They have a more robust flavor that is savory with a “meaty” taste. Since the Shiitake mushroom is cultivated on wood, cleaning them is easily done by wiping them down with a cloth.
- Oyster Mushrooms – Oyster mushrooms are cultivated on wood around the world. This mushroom has a subtle, nutty flavor that goes best in soups, stews and sauces. These mushrooms can also be dried and reconstituted for use at a later time; if you’re using them right away be sure to wipe down with a moist cloth to rid them of any dirt before cooking.
Since mushrooms are so versatile and filling (think Portobello mushrooms!), they make a great alternative to meat in main entrees. The Mushroom Council has a Pinterest Board dedicated to Meatless Monday recipes that incorporate mushrooms that I LOVE! There are so many great recipes to choose from and trust me–your family will never miss the meat in these delicious dishes. I’ve selected one of my personal favorites below, I hope you’ll enjoy it as well.
Mushroom and Caramelized Onion Tacos
1 lb.mixed cremini and white button mushrooms, sliced
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
1/2 teaspoon Spanish paprika
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
freshly ground sea salt to taste
freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup sour cream
1 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
12 6-inch corn tortillas
Melt 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Saute mushrooms in batches until they are evenly browned. Transfer the cooked mushroomes to a large bowl. Heat the remaining butter and olive oil, add onions and cook until they start to turn golden in color. Add pinch of sugar to help them caramelize. Saute stirring occasionally until a deep golden brown. Add garlic and saute for 2 minutes and transfer to bowl with mushrooms. Add the Spanish paprika, 3/4 cup cheese and some of the chopped parsley. Add salt and pepper to taste and stir ingredients to incorporate. Heat tortillas in the microwave in a loosely covered container for 2 minutes, turning after 1 minute. Spoon mushroom and onion mixture and some of the sour cream into the middle of each tortilla. Serve on a platter with the remaining parsley and cheese.
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