Marvellous Mushrooms

I like all types of mushrooms but Shiitake mushrooms are my particular favourite! Mushrooms really are marvellous for adding so much flavour and texture to soups, pasta dishes or casseroles.

Best of all they need very little in the way of seasoning to prepare them, so you can leave aside the salt cellar. They taste quite assertive really….much more so than button mushrooms and I often mix the two together for that added  punch of flavour. Yum ….an excellent accompaniment to grilled lamb chops or to the Sunday roast.
Mushrooms are very low in calories, packed with nutrients, and contain B vitamins and small amounts of various minerals, including selenium, copper, potassium, phosphorous, zinc and manganese.  Selenium is an important nutrient for a healthy thyroid and metabolism. It’s in short supply in many people’s diets, especially if they don’t eat seafood.
Mushrooms also contain a powerful antioxidant called L-ergothioneine. Shiitake, maitake, oyster and king oyster mushrooms contain the highest amount of L-ergothioneine, but portabellas and button mushrooms are also pretty good sources. In Asia, they’re celebrated for their immune-boosting properties.
They also contain a little more protein than most other vegetables, so their meaty texture makes them a good option for not only the vegetarian, but for anyone wanting to use less meat without missing out on the flavour.
Store mushrooms in brown paper bags, but if you find them, as I sometimes do, hidden and forgotten about in the bottom of the fridge – don’t toss them out if they’re just a bit dried out.  Mushrooms have a remarkable ability to reconstitute themselves,  and although they won’t look as appealing  as firm fresh ones, they’ll cook up just fine.  Drizzle in olive oil, add garlic and herbs, cook and then toss over your pasta or spoon the mix over fish or chicken breasts.
For 4 servings
Ingredients : 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 lb fresh button mushrooms cut into thick slices, 2 tablespoons chopped shallots, 1 large garlic clove, ½ cup dry white wine, 1 ½ tablespoons tarragon, black pepper.
Start with a hot pan, add oil and mushrooms and cook without stirring until they begin to release moisture after 3 minutes. Add some black pepper and stir briefly. Then no stirring until cooked. Reduce the heat and add shallots. Add the garlic  and cook for a minute. Next add the wine and turn up the heat for 5 minutes. Stir in tarragon and voila.