Heh, heh. No, not those kinds of mushrooms. Not even wild mushrooms. I’m talking run-of-the-mill brown cremini. Humble fungi like these (and their even humbler cousins, white button mushrooms) have nutrients like niacin that help regulate hormones, and potassium, which helps lower blood pressure. Mushrooms are also known to combat certain cancers. Cancer like my friend Merede is fighting.
When I got the call last week that Merede wanted some girlfriend encouragement and was looking for ways to eat healthier, I brought along a big pot of whole-grain “risotto,” dense with cremini mushrooms. Sure it was healthy. But as Merede inhaled the scents, tasted its rich flavor, and shared the meal amid the laughter and voices of her friends, I guarantee the nourishing benefits went well beyond the nutrient value of the dish.
This week, experiment with cremini in a variety of ways both raw and cooked. Try slicing them thinly and tossing them with shaved celery and garlicky vinaigrette. Or sautéing quartered cremini in olive oil with minced shallots and rosemary and mounding them on top of a sautéed chicken paillard (a thinly pounded chicken breast). Or . . . try my recipe for Merede’s Mushroom “Farrotto” with Roasted Butternut Squash and Shallots. I speak from experience in saying it will truly nourish both body and soul.