Mushrooms are among my most favorite foods, even more so in the past 11 years, with a mostly plant-based diet. I’ve been cooking oyster mushrooms for 15-20 years, in a variety of ways — sautéed, roasted, grilled, etc. The results have been acceptable, but not great. That all changed recently, when I discovered a new approach from one of my old (published 1986) cookbooks: Uncommon Fruits and Vegetables, by Elizabeth Schneider.
I have referred to this book occasionally over the many years it has been on my shelf. It was invaluable with how to cook chayote squash, celeriac, collards, jicama, mustard greens, and other obscure ingredients I come up with. Then, one day about 12 years ago, I tried her simple directions for cooking chanterelles, another mushroom with which I had much difficulty. That was a game-changer, and a technique I used ever since.
A few weeks ago I cooked chanterelles again this way. However, I also had some very fresh oyster mushrooms, and I thought, “I wonder what she has to say about oyster mushrooms.” The recipe was right there on page 334, and it was even easier than the one for chanterelles.
I cooked them as described, then tossed the mushrooms with pasta, and enjoyed the dish very much. Yesterday, I had an opportunity to try it again, this time with some homemade linguine from my new pasta machine. I had more mushrooms this time, so I doubled the recipe. There was no stock defrosted, so I put a vegan bouillon cube in water and brought it to boiling, then added the butter and the mushrooms. No more salt or pepper was needed; the bouillon supplied enough.
After the liquid had boiled off, I added some olive oil, and the mushrooms started to brown, much to my delight. When they had good color, I added the cooked pasta, stirred it up, and sat down with a full bowl. It was superb. The wine was a Graciano from Sans Liege (Groundwork label) in Paso Robles, CA, a most satisfactory accompaniment.
I had picked our first small eggplant from the pots on the railing along our deck. This was sliced, sautéed, and sprinkled lightly with Portuguese white wine vinegar, for the evening’s vegetable.
Earlier I made a cucumber/grape tomato/purple daikon and red radish/black olive salad for the mid-afternoon snack.
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