Special to The Sun
Want to add interesting taste, texture and depth to your cooking? Think mushrooms. Most varieties are available year-round.
“A lot of cooks underestimate mushrooms, thinking of just a few common varieties,” says James Parker, a produce buyer for Whole Foods Market. “But mushrooms are incredibly versatile. From earthy and nutty to buttery and even fruity, mushrooms can add a wide array of flavors to dishes.”
To get the most out of mushrooms, use them quickly so they remain firm and blemish-free. Refrigerate them in a paper bag or container that allows cool air to circulate and make sure they’re not too dry or damp. When ready to cook, clean mushrooms with a damp cloth or rinse briefly and dry with a towel.
This handy guide can help you experiment with different flavors and textures:
• White button — mild and versatile.
• Cremini — firm and flavorful.
• Portobello — rich and meaty.
• Oyster — mild and sweet.
• Shiitake — savory & satisfying.
• Chanterelle — nutty and delicate.
• Morel — intense and earthy.
• Porcini — robust and woodsy.
• White Truffle — delicate and aromatic.
• Black Truffle — fragrant and flavorful.
Mushroom and Gruyere Quiche
1/4 pound cremini mushrooms, cut into quarters or eighths, depending on size
1/4 pound portobello mushroom caps, diced
1/4 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and discarded, cut into quarters
1/2 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 frozen 9-inch pie crust, thawed
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
4 ounces gruyère cheese, shredded (about 1 1/2 cups)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl, toss mushrooms with onion, olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Roast for about 15 minutes, or until cooked and firm. Remove from oven and set aside.
Prick pie shell all over with a fork. Pre-bake shell for 10 to 15 minutes, until lightly browned. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
Whisk together heavy cream and eggs with 1 tablespoon thyme, salt and pepper. In a large bowl, combine roasted mushrooms, onion, gruyere and remaining thyme. Spread mixture in the bottom of the pie shell evenly.
Pour cream-egg mixture over the mushroom mixture, ensuring the mushroom mixture is covered. Bake 45 to 55 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Serve warm. More cooking tips and recipes can be found at www.WholeFoodsMarket.com.