Archive for the ‘Mushrooms’ Category

Recipes from the Farmers’ Market: Mushroom and Asparagus Toss

A couple of weeks ago I bought some mushrooms (from the regular grocery, I’ll admit) and asparagus (from the Market).  But I bought too much food in general that week, and they sat longer than they should have.  By this last weekend, the asparagus was dried out and the mushrooms were ALLLLLMOST yucky.  But I’m trying really hard not to waste food.  So!  I roasted them!  I wasn’t sure what I would do with them afterward, but knew that roasting would buy me a few more days before the vegetables died completely.  As it turned out, I tossed them with some pasta, sun-dried tomatoes and mozzarella tonight, but I could also have mixed them into some eggs for a frittata.  So I have two recipes tonight: the mushrooms and asparagus, and the pasta toss.  You can cook them at different times or all together, and it will work just fine. 


20 oz sliced mushrooms
2 small bunches of asparagus, broken into smallish pieces
Olive oil
Salt & Pepper

The Recipe:
Preheat the oven to 375F.  Toss all the ingredients together and cook uncovered, stirring once, until the mushrooms are brown and the asparagus look dried out, about 45 minutes.

On to the next!  Now, had I known I was going to put those in the pasta, I would have also tossed in some garlic.  I ended up adding garlic powder to the pasta after it was all said and done, but that’s really not the same.

1 batch Mushroom and Asparagus Roast
8 oz dried whole-wheat pasta, long-cut (I used spaghetti, but any long-cut pasta will do.)
4 oz Mozzarella, cut into pieces
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, roughly chopped (or buy one of those little jars that are already julienned)
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste

The Recipe:
If you’re making it all at once, start with the Roast recipe above, but add 2 cloves minced garlic.  After that’s been in the oven about 20 minutes, heat the water for pasta and bring it to a boil.  Add a generous amount of salt (don’t skip this step; it really DOES make a huge difference, especially with whole-wheat noodles) and the pasta.  When it’s done, grab 1/4 cup of the cooking water out of the pan with a glass measuring cup, and dump the pasta into a colander.  Don’t rinse it; put it right back into the pan, and toss the cheese, tomatoes and Roast in there.  Toss it all together, and taste.  Add salt and pepper (and garlic powder, if you didn’t add the garlic to the Roast).  Add some olive oil, a couple of tablespoons at a time, and a little cooking water until you get a consistency and flavor you like. 

If you like, you can top it with a little Parmesan cheese and some red pepper flakes.  YUM. 

How Did it Go?
Better than I expected, actually.  Not as good as the chard pasta, but still good.  I think if I had leftover mushrooms and asparagus again, I might also try putting them in some eggs and milk and baking them up like a quiche.  In that case a mild white cheddar (and maybe a little Dijon mustard) would be amazing mixed in.  You could also just serve the roasted veggies alongside a piece of steak, chicken or fish, with a little cheese sprinkled on top.  Served warm, they might also be good spooned over some salad greens, with the pan juices as a dressing (although that one might need a little salt), and a glass of white wine.  Lots of options on this one!


Recipes From the Farmers’ Market: Cheesy Pasta Casserole

I started out calling this “Beefy Pasta Casserole” because that sounded more like something out of the 1950s (more on why that was appropriate below), but decided that name just lent itself to too many inappropriate jokes.  (Bet you wish you could un-read that sentence!)

I made this initially because I was at a restaurant the other day and ordered a burger.  But in an effort to avoid Sad Cow, I left the meat off.  (The server was WAY confused: “We have a bean patty!”  “No thanks, I don’t care for them.  I’m good with no meat.”  “So . . . do you want chicken?”  “No, I’m good.”  “But . . . wait . . . you just want the vegetables????”  Alllllllrighty, then.)  So I ended up with a hamburger bun, buttered and – er – “garlicked,” piled with grilled red onions, swiss cheese and sauteed mushrooms.

YOU GUYS.  It was AMAZING.  So I decided to try and recreate it at home, minus the “burger” construct, but using pastured beef (aka Happy Cow).

1 1/2 Tbs butter
3 medium onions, sliced thinly
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sugar
8 oz. Swiss cheese
1 lb. ground beef
3 cloves minced garlic
2 10-oz. packages sliced mushrooms
2 Tbs flour
1 cup half-and-half or milk

The Recipe:
Combine the butter, onions, baking soda and sugar (to carmelize) as directed here.  Layer them across the bottom of a glass baking dish. 

In the same pan you cooked the onions in, cook the beef.  Layer that over the onions.  Sprinkle about half the cheese on top.

Back in the pan, sautee some garlic until fragrant.  Add the mushrooms and cook for about 10 minutes, until they start to soften.  Add the flour, and cook for another 5 minutes or so.  Add the milk or half-and-half and cook until the sauce thickens.  Pour that over the top of the baking dish, top with the remaining cheese and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. 

How Did it Go?
YOU GUYS.  It did NOT GO WELL.  I’d added the half-and-half to try and thicken it up at the end, but no dice.  I essentially baked a sauce.  So I tried to fix it.  I added 8 oz. penne pasta, cooked, and stirred the whole thing together and rebaked it.

YOU GUYS.  It still did NOT GO WELL.  Frankly, it tasted like the 1950s, and NOT in a good way.  You know that kind of indefinable, beefy-but-bland-but-rich sort of taste that you get when you cook from an old cookbook?  It tasted like THAT. 

Now honestly, once I added the pasta, it wasn’t THAT BAD.  It wasn’t inedible, and in fact I did eat most of it over the course of several lunches and dinners (mostly because I couldn’t bring myself to throw out $7-a-pound ground beef) – but it honestly wasn’t GOOD, either.  Plus, it was a pain to fix, what with all the cooking in the pan and transferring to a baking dish and cooking and transferring and cooking and . . . you get it. 

I thought about not publishing this at all, but I’d already decided that I’d publish the bad ones, too.  Mostly I decided to do that so that I wasn’t throwing things out and re-cooking just for this blog (because my wallet canNOT handle that – see above re: $7-a-pound).

On the plus side, I think I figured out how to make something that still has all the garlicky, buttery, onion-y, mushroom-y goodness of that sandwich, but doesn’t involve tasting like the 1950s.  (Hint: I’m starting with a salad next time.)  I’ll post it eventually.  😉

Recipes from the Farmers’ Market: Roasted Mushrooms

Ok, I have to be honest here.  I almost didn’t publish this, because it seems so . . . SIMPLE.  But frankly, I hadn’t ever roasted mushrooms before myself, and they’re pretty amazing.  (I’m not sure why I have a section down below labeled “How did it go?” since I tend to give that away EVERY TIME right up front.  *sigh*)  And initially I’d intended to eat these as a side dish, but I’ve ended up tossing them in all kinds of good stuff (below – I’ve got to use up that space!).


1 pound mushrooms, chopped into similar sizes (I used the small mushrooms as a base and quartered or halved the rest of them to be about the same size) – assorted, if you can find them, but any kind will work
1 generous handful of fresh chopped thyme (or 1 generous palmful of dried thyme)
olive oil for tossing – about 3 Tbs or so
Salt to taste

The Recipe:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a baking dish large enough to hold the mushrooms in a (more or less) single layer, toss all the ingredients together.  Spread them out so that they’re back in a (more or less) single layer.  Read a magazine or contemplate tomorrow’s To-Do list while you wait for the oven to finish heating.  (And please tell me I’m not the only one who peruses my To-Do list like that.)

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes, until the mushrooms are kind of dark and wrinkly.


How Did It Go?
YUM.  I’d intended to just eat these as a side dish, but I ended up using them in various things.  They’re  great hot from the oven all by themselves, but I also threw them into pasta with a little more olive oil and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.  They’d probably be good tossed like that with broccoli or spinach instead of pasta, too, though I didn’t try that.  I ate them at room temperature, with a glass of wine one evening as an appetizer (which was so good it ended up being my entire dinner).  I think my favorite way of eating them though, was reheated (in the microwave – I didn’t feel like messing with the stove or oven) and spooned over sourdough toast spread with chicken liver pate.  They’d be good in various bruschetta recipes, too, and they’d be AMAZING spooned warm over a steak or even some chicken, especially if you added a sprinkle of blue cheese crumbles to it.

And like I said, I almost didn’t post this.  It’s been sitting in my notebook for a week or so now, because I kept thinking it didn’t seem like a REAL recipe.  But you know what?  It tastes freakin’ AMAZING.  And in the end, that’s all that matters, right?