The wild mushrooms have been looking irresistable at my produce market lately–not only are there morels ($79/lb), fresh porcini ($59/lb), but equally impressive giant oyster mushrooms ($8/lb).
Oyster mushrooms have a wonderful assertive flavor that I would describe as briny, and a meaty texture. They need to be tamed by something strong–in this case, garlic and mint. Mint is a wonderful brightener in many earthy dishes, and since I’ve bought a bunch of it to season these mushrooms, it will probably make an appearance several times in the coming days and weeks (if it lasts).
Simply pull the layers of the mushroom off of the tough thick bases and discard the bases. Cut or tear the layers into manageable pieces. Wipe any loose soil from them with a damp paper towel and set aside. They need little cleaning since most of the soil is on the bases.
The garlic cloves get browned in oil first, then the mushrooms are added. Salt and black pepper are added after the mushrooms have sauteed and begun to become golden. Finally, a handful of mint leaves are tossed in.
We’re having a simple grilled filet with the mushrooms, some skillet potatoes with rosemary and some LOCAL asparagus–spring has finally reached us!
Oyster Mushrooms with Mint
2 lbs oyster mushrooms, cleaned and cut into pieces
4 cloves garlic split
6 tbls olive oil
12 mint leaves
salt and pepper to taste
Heat oil and brown garlic cloves slowly until they turn light golden. Add mushrooms and saute on high heat for about 5 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper. Toss in mint leaves and serve.
Like all mushrooms, these shrink and shed a great deal of water when you saute them. Therefore, be sure to use a very large skillet and high heat so that the water evaporates quickly and they turn golden and crispy as quickly as possible–otherwise they’ll boil and turn to grey rubber!
Great hot or at room temperature. The mint flavor becomes more developed the following day. Leftovers are AMAZING on a piece of bruschetta drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil.