I know you’re asking, is this an alien life form or something from the back of your child’s closet? It’s neither! It’s a beautiful bunch of white beech mushrooms or hon shimeji mushrooms.
Perusing my grocery store’s produce section the other day, this amazing cluster caught my eye. One thing I’m known for is my adventurous palate so of course, I left the store with these beauties. Exotic mushrooms are all the rage these days, so you can probably find these at a big grocery store chain or an organic food store. They are native to eastern Asia, but apparently, the American foodies have caught on to this delightful variety.
I love mushrooms dearly. I love them sautéed with butter, with olive oil and garlic or even grilled and used as a substitute for a burger when the rest of the family is barbequing beef. One thing I’ve never done until today though was roast them. Holy amazingness! It was a burst of creamy and buttery richness, yet so meaty at the same time! Kinda like a Portobello mushroom, but a little more “woody” if that makes sense. If you are ready to try some of these, I highly recommend them. However, one thing I learned by way of a quick google search is that these are not the kind of mushroom you want to eat raw – they are bitter and hard to digest. The cooking process makes them easier for your body to assimilate, so let’s just leave it at that. 🙂
To prepare them, (by the way, they are about the cutest little things I’ve ever eaten) you will want to cut off the base after a quick rinse. They grow in a cluster, so the base is easily removed. I roasted these at 450 degrees for about 20 minutes after a quick toss in a bowl with some olive oil, salt and pepper. I spread them on a cookie sheet and let them roast away until nicely browned.
I put them on top of a bed of organic whole wheat spaghetti, but they would go great in any dish to add a hearty flavor.
I challenge you to go try something new and interesting next time you are food shopping. It’s a fun process to find something unique and outside your comfort zone! Just be sure to do your research to cook and prepare your new items properly to ensure you’ll enjoy the experience.