I’ve never really been opposed to mushrooms. I was one of those few strange kids who enjoyed eating her veggies, but scoffed at hamburgers, chicken nuggets and PB&Js. Despite my affinity for the fungi, I tended to stay clear of the ones that actually looked like alien creatures. Cremini, white, portobella and the occasionally shiitaki were my go-to, but that changed this past weekend.
After a trip to the farmers market, I found myself walking home with a bag of yellow, earthy growth, otherwise known as oyster mushrooms (see below). While oyster mushrooms aren’t the strangest things alive, cooking them was foreign to me — but the proprietor told me they were buttery & nutty, so I was down for giving them a try. And, boy, am I glad I did.
Using heirloom cherry tomatoes + olive oil, salt & oregano as a base, I made a sauce filled with the delectable oyster mushrooms and scrumptious swiss chard. After these ingredients were sautéed together, I used the sauce to top a farro-stuffed red bell pepper, sprinkled with a smidgen more of sea salt and ground red chili pepper flakes. (Note: Any grain would probably do, but farro works particularly well because, as a nuttier grain, it plays off the flavor of the oyster mushrooms.) I then placed the concoction in the oven to roast for nearly an hour at 400 degrees F. Once removing the stuffed pepper from the oven and letting it stand for a few minutes, I added some burrata cheese.
AND THEN I DEVOURED IT.