Mushrooms and I have a tumultuous relationship. When I was a kid I hated them more than any other food and would not tolerate even a sliver of mushroom on my pizza or pasta. The first time I tasted and enjoyed mushrooms was in my 20s when friends grilled some marinated portobello mushrooms for a meatless dinner. It was a revelation, and I've been experimenting more with mushrooms ever since. I still wouldn't say they're one of my favourite foods, but I do cook with them regularly and always eat them when they appear on my plate. This is a big relief to Matt, who loves mushrooms.
So I'm sure my teen-aged self would be shocked to know that I not only eat mushrooms, but actually grew my own at home and enjoyed them.
I received this super cool mushroom kit from Mushrooms Canada and was very excited to grow them.
The mushroom spores are in the kit so I just soaked it in water, then misted it twice daily for 10 days and the mushrooms started to grow! Here they are starting to peep out.
After a few more days they started to look like mushrooms.
Then, finally, after about 10 days they were fully grown oyster mushrooms.
I just plucked them from the box and separated them.
Then chopped them up.
My favourite way to cook mushrooms is sautéed with onions, garlic and thyme. So I figured I could easily incorporate those flavours into a quick pasta that would highlight the flavour of the mushrooms.
I sautéed a diced onion in a little oil, then added the chopped mushrooms, a minced garlic clove, some thyme leaves and a sprinkle of chili flakes. I cooked it for about 5 more minutes.
Meanwhile I cooked up about half a pound of whole wheat orecchiette and drained it.
I added a cup of wine to the pan with the mushrooms and tossed in the pasta and a tablespoon of butter to make a sauce.
Here it is, piled on a plate.
I added a little parmigiano reggiano and a sprinkling of thyme leaves and served. My hunch about these flavours was correct, this was a fantastic meal. The mushrooms were rich and delicious and the garlic, onions and thyme were a great complement.