There is nothing quite like a mushroom. These little gems pack a big flavor punch, adding a savory, umami quality to sauces and sides. Use fresh to add a meaty bite, or rehydrate dry ‘shrooms for rich, concentrated flavor. With around 10,000 known edible species, there is truly a mushroom for every palate, and with their high vitamin D content, it’s worth finding excuses to include them in every meal. We like to pulverize the dry ones and add them by the teaspoonful to thicken gravy or stew, or thinly slice fresh shiitakes to top creamy polenta.
The health-promoting properties of shiitakes, combined with their meaty, smoky flavor make it an easy decision to add more mushrooms to your meal!
- Unlike other mushrooms that grow in soil, shiitakes grow on logs and are much cleaner. To prep, simply wipe with a piece of paper and remove the tough stems.
- Superfood, indeed! Shiitakes contain high levels of B vitamins, vitamin D and selenium, plus copper, manganese, zinc and folate.
- Their meaty, smoky flavor comes from the amino acid glutamate, a neurotransmitter that plays an important role in learning and memory, and provides umami flavor.
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill polenta (corn grits)
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 large shallot, finely chopped
- ¾ lb shiitake mushrooms, cleaned, stems removed and sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 Tbsp fresh flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
- 2 Tbsp fresh oregano, minced, divided, plus more for garnish
- 2 Tbsp fresh thyme, minced, divided, plus more for garnish
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- In a medium pot, stir together stock, polenta, 1 tsp salt, and pepper to taste, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook until liquid is absorbed and polenta is no longer gritty, approximately 20 minutes. Add in 1 Tbsp oregano, 1 Tbsp thyme and Parmesan and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
- While polenta is cooking, melt butter with oil in a large, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms are tender and their liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, parsley, 1 Tbsp oregano and 1 Tbsp thyme, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 1 minute more.
- Spoon the polenta into shallow bowls and top with the mushroom mixture. Garnish with more herbs and serve immediately.