Mushrooms are available year-round but many varieties are at their peak during the winter months.With their high nutrition content and their rich, earthy flavor mushrooms make a great addition to virtually any dish whether it’s an omelette for breakfast or a salad for lunch. There are thousands of types of mushrooms grown around the world but here are just a few of the most popular to get your started.
Perhaps the most popular mushroom in the culinary world, portobellos can be purchased at nearly any grocery store. Baby portobellos are sold as white button mushrooms and are the perfect addition to fresh salads or egg dishes. The mature portobello is very large, dark in color and has a hearty, meaty texture making them an excellent meat substitute for grilling or roasting in the oven.
Cultivated in Asia for over 6,000 years, the shiitake mushroom is considered a symbol of longevity because of its numerous health benefits. Shiitakes are high in fiber and protein and rich in B vitamins. Shiitakes make a great addition to homemade soups and stir frys.
One of the rarest, most sought after mushrooms in the world, the morel has a creamy, rich, woodsy flavor. Morels are perfect for sauteing or frying, just be sure not to mask their unique flavor.
Another rare and highly sought mushroom is the truffle. These gourmet little fungi have been known to sell for as much as $300,000 and are highly coveted by fine dining chefs the world over. Both the white and black truffle varieties are commonly used in cooking, but with such a high price tag and their strong flavor they are used sparingly. Try shaving a little truffle on top of a pasta or salad dish or make your own truffle oil for flavoring sauces.