The Edmond Sun

January 6, 2014

How to make hearty winter dishes without meat

Special to The Sun

EDMOND — 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

 2 eggs

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