Discovering Roasted Mushrooms

Roasted Mushrooms
I love the flavor of mushrooms but am often disappointed that much of it disappears when I saute them. But I recently discovered an easy way to cook mushrooms so that they retain their flavor. I simply roast them in a hot oven (400 – 450) for 15 – 20 minutes. In the past I have roasted button mushrooms whole by adding them to a pan of roasted vegetables the last 20 minutes. Recently I had a “tired” pound package of mushrooms that need cooking right away!I So I decided to roast them! I sliced them and placed them on a parchment-lined sheet pan. They cooked in the hot oven for 20 minutes. When I sampled them, they tasted great – lots of mushroom flavor! And much to my delight they retained their shape and some moisture.

I couldn’t resist adding a handful to my green salad. Delicious! The next evening I used them to make one of my 20 minute pizza suppers! Since then I’ve used the roasted mushrooms to make cream of mushroom soup, a mixed veggie stir-fry and a rice bowl supper. I now have mushrooms on my basic shopping list and eat them regularly.

Mushrooms are very healthy according to the popular documentary film, “Fantastic Fungi”. The film has gotten a lot of attention this year and most likely will get a nomination for best Oscar documentary. I enjoyed watching it and learning about how fungi function on our planet and how they have a multitude of important contributions to our health and welfare. After seeing the movie I was motivated to get the movie’s companion book “Fantastic Fungi – How mushrooms can heal, shift consciousness & save the planet” edited by Paul Stamets. It’s a beautiful “coffee table” style book with lots of photos and informative text.

20 Minute Roasted Mushroom Pizza
This is one recipe you should definitely try if you are a mushroom lover.

I had a container of roasted sliced mushrooms that needed to be used up. So I decided to create a special recipe to honor this new item in my refrigerator. I make pizzas in 20 minutes or less using flour tortillas as the base. Most of my original recipes are developed because I have stuff in the “fridge” that needs using up! This time I found leftover pesto, and roasted red peppers that needed to be eaten and this recipe is the final result.

flour tortillas
olive oil
thick style spread: (pesto, tomato sauce, mayo, left-over gravy etc.)
1- 1.5 cups sliced and roasted mushrooms
½ – 1 cup grated cheese (your choice – I like cheddar or jack)
Other added toppings:
sliced ripe olives, roasted peppers, carmelized onions, leftover cooked
veggies – whatever your tastebuds are drawn to.

l. Preheat oven to 450
2. Place tortilla on baking sheet
3. Coat the top of the tortilla with a thin layer of the spread of your choice.
4. You can add a base layer of chopped salad greens or spinach before adding other toppings. I find that one full handful is about right.
5. Top with mushrooms and/or any other toppings of your choice. I used up leftover roasted red peppers.
6. Drizzle with a tablespoon or so of olive oil and top with the cheese(s) of your choice.
7. Bake 8-10 minutes until the edges of the pizza are nicely browned.
8. Remove and let cool slightly.
9. Cut into 6 slices. I like to use my kitchen shears for this.
10. Enjoy!!!

I was eating the finished pizza about 25 minutes after I started heating up the oven!!!

Note: I make 20 minute pizzas regularly using up my leftovers. There’s something decadent about having a pizza for dinner. When I was a kid that was always a special treat. In the past creating the crust was as deterrent. Now that I’ve discovered flour tortillas, building a gourmet pizza is almost as easy as building a sandwich.

Cactus Bloom
It’s been hot out here this past weeks. Daily temperatures are usually over 100 degrees. But we’ve had a wonderful cactus bloom which brightens one’s spirit.