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6 min read

This week’s Vegetable Box Feature: White Button Mushrooms

Did you know?

  • They are the most popular type & the workhorse of the mushroom family, their mild flavor and meaty texture make them extremely versatile.
  • They are the immature form of the edible fungus Agaricus bisporus, which also includes cremini mushrooms and portobello mushrooms. In fact, all of these mushrooms are the same mushroom at different stages of maturity.
  • This fungus is native to Europe and North America.
  • They are a natural, non-animal source of vitamin D2 and also high in protein and a source of vitamin B12. As such, they are considered beneficial for those following plant-based diets.
  • Both the caps and stems are edible

Fun Fact:
It’s estimated that the average consumption per person is around 2 lbs per year.

How to Store Them:
Because button mushrooms contain so much water, they are prone to turning moldy or slimy. The best way to avoid this is to use them as soon as possible. But storing them in the fridge for two to three days is fine provided they aren't encased in plastic, which traps in moisture, which in turn can cause them to turn slimy. Avoid storing whole mushrooms in plastic bags. Store them loose in the crisper drawer on the humid setting, with a clean paper towel underneath them.

How to Use Them:
They can be eaten raw or cooked. They have the mildest flavor and readily absorb the flavors that they're cooked with. You can sauté, stir-fry, grill, braise or roast them.

Button mushrooms have a relatively high water content relative to their more mature counterparts. This means that cooking them takes a little bit longer than cooking cremini or portobellos. Undercooked button mushrooms can have a slightly squishy consistency, but cooking them longer will cook away their water content, giving them a more dense, almost meaty texture. 

They can sometimes have particles of dirt on them. In recent decades it was commonplace to brush the dirt off without wetting the mushrooms because it was feared that rinsing them would cause them to absorb water like sponges. But button mushrooms are already saturated with water—their water content is around 92 percent. If you soaked them for a period of time, they might absorb a bit more water, but rinsing away the dirt won't have any appreciable effect on their moisture content. 

Likewise, some chefs, especially those with old-school fine-dining training, recommend peeling mushrooms before cooking. This is done using a paring knife, reaching under the cap of the mushroom with the edge of the knife and pulling the skin toward the top of the cap. This was done to make the mushroom look nice, as a way of removing dirt, and also because the skins on older mushrooms can sometimes be tough. But with button mushrooms, toughness isn't an issue, and rinsing is an easier and equally effective method of removing dirt. So peeling is definitely optional. 

Button mushrooms are easy to slice and don't require much pressure from the chef's knife. Their flesh is somewhat delicate, and they should be handled gently. They bruise easily, and when that happens, the white flesh turns first pink and then brown.

Button mushrooms are great in pasta dishes, stir-frys, omelets, salads, soups, sauces, as a topping for pizzas and burgers, and as a side dish, served sautéed with butter, herbs, and garlic, especially alongside grilled steaks and other meats. 

Recipes:

Savory Mushroom Toast Recipe
Created By: By Laurel Randolph

This can be eaten on its own for breakfast, alongside fresh fruit for brunch, or with a simple salad for an easy dinner.

Ingredients:
1 TBSP unsalted butter
1 medium shallot, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, optional
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
4 small or 2 large slices of rustic bread (e.g., sourdough, wheat, multigrain)
1 TBSP olive oil
1/3 cup grated gruyere cheese (about 1 1/2 ounces)
2 tsp chopped fresh parsley






Instructions:
1. Gather the ingredients.  Preheat your broiler on high.

  1. Preheat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the butter and let melt. Add the shallot and sauté for 1 minute. Then add the garlic and stir.
  2. Add the mushrooms and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until the mushrooms are lightly browned and becoming tender. Then add the soy sauce and stir. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the liquid has mostly cooked off. Add the thyme and season with salt and pepper. Stir and reduce heat to low.
  3. Brush the slices of bread on both sides with the olive oil. Place on a baking tray and toast under the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes, or until browned around the edges and lightly crispy. Turn and repeat to toast the other side.
  4. Add the grated cheese to each slice of warm bread. Top with the mushrooms followed by the parsley and serve.

Mushroom risotto
Created by: Danilo Alfaro

This is the perfect accompaniment for baked or roast chicken, pork roast, shrimp, or pan-fried fish.

Ingredients:
1 quart mushroom stock (or vegetable stock or chicken stock)
4 TBSP unsalted butter, divided
1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 TBSP vegetable oil
1 medium shallot (or small onion), chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 TBSP Italian parsley, chopped
Kosher salt, to taste


Instructions:
1. Gather the ingredients.

  1. Heat the stock to a simmer in a medium saucepan, then lower the heat so that the stock just stays hot.

3.Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a sauté pan and sauté the sliced mushrooms until they're soft. Remove from heat and set aside.

  1. In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add the chopped shallot or onion. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes or until it is slightly translucent.
  2. Add the rice to the pot and stir it briskly with a wooden spoon so that the grains are coated with the oil and melted butter. Sauté for another minute or so, until there is a slightly nutty aroma, but don't let the rice turn brown.
  3. Add the wine and cook while stirring until the liquid is fully absorbed.
  4. Add a ladle of hot stock to the rice and stir until the liquid is fully absorbed. When the rice appears almost dry, add another ladle of stock and repeat the process.

Note: It's important to stir constantly to prevent scorching, especially while the hot stock gets absorbed, and to add the next ladle as soon as the rice is almost dry.

  1. Stir the rice constantly.
  2. Continue adding ladles of hot stock and stirring the rice while the liquid is absorbed. As it cooks, you'll see that the rice will take on a creamy consistency as it begins to release its natural starches.
  3. Continue adding stock, a ladle at a time, for 20 to 30 minutes or until the grains are tender but still firm to the bite, without being crunchy. When you're down to your last few ladles of stock, add the cooked mushrooms.
  4. If you run out of stock and the risotto still isn't done, you can finish the cooking using hot water. Just add the water as you did with the stock, a ladle at a time, stirring while it's absorbed.
  5. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, the Parmesan cheese, and the parsley and season to taste with ​kosher salt.

Tip: Risotto turns glutinous if held for too long, so you should serve it right away. A properly cooked risotto should form a soft, creamy mound on a dinner plate. It shouldn't run across the plate, nor should it be stiff or gluey.


 



Garlic Mushrooms

Created By: Sara

The perfect 10 minute side dish that goes with almost any meal.


Ingredients:
1lb button mushrooms
4 TBSP butter
1 TBSP minced garlic
1 sprig fresh thyme or 1/4 tsp dried thyme leaves
1 TBSP chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper to taste


Instructions:
1. Melt the butter in a large pan over medium high heat.

  1. Add the mushrooms and thyme, then season generously with salt and pepper.
  2. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are golden brown and tender, about 7 minutes.
  3. Stir in garlic, cook for an additional 30 seconds.
  4. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

 


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