Breakfast of Champignons

I love mushrooms.  I’d say that I always have, but I’m sure tha there was a forgotten and/or repressed period of my youth when I despised them as much as almost every other child (and, indeed, adult) seems to.

At this stage in my development, though, I can put away more than a pound of mushrooms in a sitting, and I’ve never found a variety that I didn’t like.  My current favorites are chantarelles (due to the astonishing flavor of the ones I ate in Germany), but creminis, portabellos, procinis, shiitakis–I love them all.  Well, I’m not the biggest fan of wood-ear mushrooms, but I really think that that’s just because of their name.  I need to get over it. 

I don’t know if mushrooms are more particularly in season in fall than at any other time, but since the weather turned chilly, I’ve been eating more and more of them.  Last week I warmed up a solitary luncheon with a salad of sauteed mushrooms, ham and parsley (1.5 lbs) and the week before I sauced some slithery linguini with a porcini-bacon duxelle (3/4 lb).  The best mushroom dish I have made this fall, though, was the simplest: mushroom frittata. 

September’s Bon Appetit had a recipe for a mushroom-caper frittata, and the idea of earthy mushrooms and briny capers combined was very appealling.   Hardly looking at the recipe (and thus, doing things in very much a different order than instructed), I set to work.  Portabello mushrooms?  Sauteed.  Basil?  Oregano?  Capers?  Chopped and mixed with the mushrooms.  Eggs? Salt? Pepper? Dijon mustard?  Beaten to a froth.  I spread the mushroom mixture into a buttered pie plate, then poured the eggs over the top and baked it until it was firm, but not dried out. 

Yes, it was a wonderful combination.  The portabello mushrooms were, as always, meaty and toothsome, and the capers, mustard, basil and oregano added complexity to the background without stealing the show.  Somehow, the mustard managed to deepend the flavors, while the herbs lightened it, at the same time.  I might have wished for a bit more caper flavor, but on the whole, the result was delicious.  It was perfect for a post-hike breakfast picnic in the woods. 

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Published in: on November 2, 2007 at 1:42 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. My favorite mushroom dish is Cook’s Illustrated mushroom risotto. It is really aSTOUNDingly good, packed with intense mushroomy flavor and showcasing the delightful difference in texture between the soft rice and toothsome criminis. And it’s such an easy recipe too! After whipping up a batch, I’m always taken by surprise at how delicious it is and I have to sit back for a moment to savor.

    mmmm… mushrooms


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