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Porcinis, creminis and portobellos, oh my! With some 5000 species of mushrooms — not all edible — growing in the United States alone, it is no wonder these meaty and robust veggies have become such a staple of our diets. The recipes below suggest new and inventive ways to cook with mushrooms, while celebrating their classic earthy flavors and textures. Don’t forget that to avoid mushy mushrooms, it’s best to just wipe them with a damp towel to clean; soaking them in water will cause these porous varieties to absorb moisture and become soft when cooked.
Go meatless tonight and enjoy Food Network’s Grilled Portobello Burger With Onion Jam (pictured above). This classic vegetarian alternative to traditional beef burgers features grilled portobello mushrooms topped with a sweet and tangy red onion jam, fresh lettuce and a spoonful of spicy horseradish-yogurt sauce.
Giada uses both dried porcini and white button mushrooms in her Mushroom Pesto Crostini from Cooking Channel. Combined with fresh garlic, crunchy walnuts, creamy Parmesan cheese and fruity olive oil, this rustic mushroom mixture is spread atop grilled baguette slices and served as an eat-with-your-hands simple starter.
For a light but satisfying potluck-friendly pasta salad, try Food.com’s recipe for Mushroom Orzo Pilaf. Mushrooms are the star ingredient in this dish, which is spiced with plenty of fresh garlic, sweet shallots, thyme and nutmeg. Add diced grilled tofu for an extra punch of protein.
Food 2’s in-season recipe for Mushroom and Spring Vegetable Risotto features fresh asparagus, a heaping half pound of mixed mushrooms and a splash of vermouth. This impressive dish goes perfectly with simply grilled seafood and, best of all, is ready in just over 30 minutes.