Mushrooms are one of nature’s super heroes and a fantastic and varied ingredient. They’re earthy, soft and nutty and can add real oomph to all sorts of recipes. They’re also packed full of Vitamin B, which is good for our brains. Mushrooms are delicious in risottos, stir-fries, sauces, casseroles and pies, or simply fried and served on toast for breakfast.
There are loads of different mushroom varieties, some of the most commonly used for cooking are; Button, Enoki, Flat, King Brown, Oyster, Portabello, Shemeji, Shiitake, Porcini and Swiss Brown. If you are in the northern hemisphere, fall will soon be on that way – the perfect time to enjoy delicious mushrooms!
Have some fussy eaters at home? Mushrooms are one of the great veggie-smugglers! Chopped finely, mushrooms are a great addition to homemade meatballs or as a hidden veggie layer within a lasagna. Mushrooms also add an extra flavor when added to a pasta sauce and can be useful for bulking out casseroles, stews or stir-fries. Read below for tips on which mushrooms to use in cooking and some delicious recipes to try at home.
1. The classic button – everyone’s go-to
The very simplest way of cooking button mushrooms is to pan fry them with a little olive oil and butter, finely chopped onion and garlic, and plenty of fresh parsley. Serve as a side dish, or on toast for brekkie, lunch or a snack. If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, try making this delicious mushroom cannelloni form Jamie Oliver or try our delicious Creamy Avocado, Mushroom and Pine Nut Fettuccine recipe.
2. Portobello Mushrooms – a meal in a mushy!
Portobello Mushrooms are large, meaty and practically a meal of their own! They are the go-to variety for roasting whole, perfect for stuffing or grilling on the barbeque. For a super simple recipe packed with flavor, try Jamie’s baked garlicky mushrooms or try out hearty Mushroom Burger here (we promise you wont miss the meat!).
3. Shiitake, Oyster, Enoki and Shemeji Mushrooms – the taste of Asia
Shiitake, Oyster, Enoki and Shemeji mushrooms are most commonly used in Asian cuisines. They are the perfect additions to stir-fries, noodle fishes and soups with Asian flavors. But, try experimenting with these varieties across different cuisines. Jamie Oliver’s Crispy Mushroom Shawarma uses Oyster mushrooms in a deliciously unexpected way. If you’re after a more traditional approach, try this Beef with pak-choi, mushrooms (oyster and shiitake) and noodles.
4. Swiss Brown – button with a punch!
Swiss Browns are button mushrooms with a bolder, more robust taste. They are darker in color and firmer in texture, compared to the classic white button. They are great for pastas, pan frying, slow cooking and sauces. Try this creamy mushroom soup using Swiss Browns – a winter warmer that is sure to be a hit with the family.
5. Porcini – delicious when dried
Porcini mushrooms are prized in Italian and French cuisine, but hard to get your hands on fresh in Australia. So, opt for the dried variety instead. Simply reconstitute in hot water for 30 minutes before use. The intense meaty flavour of porcinis are second to none! Try this simple mushroom and asparagus risotto featuring dried porcinis.
Throw out the rule book – make it a mix!
When it comes to mushrooms, forget the rules. Nothing is more delicious than a mix – different flavors, textures and sizes. Diversity is the spice of life, so try grabbing a bunch of different varieties and experimenting to find your favorite combinations. If you’re looking for a simple recipe to get you started, try this creamy mushroom pasta – the perfect dish for a mushy mix or try mushroom sweets.
To learn more back-to-basics cooking tips, as well as lots of other delicious Jamie Oliver recipes, sign up for a Jamie’s Ministry of Food Australia cooking class at thegoodfoundation.com.au
Want more? Try our Mushroom Burger with Herb Butter and Chipotle Mayo.