I’ve been busy. Long time, no post….but check this out. There are funny looking things growing in my house. On purpose. With an assignment for an article about growing mushrooms on your kitchen counter, I’ve got 5 little habitats of fungi sprouting from bags or boxes and hopefully some day from a log. Still waiting on that one!
The most interesting, and so far the most successful, has been the lion’s mane. I’ve never seen or tasted this one before. (Others growing are shiitake, portabella, and oyster.) After the initial set up, I cut crosses in the bag and misted it 3-4 times a day. It was the first to sprout a little cauliflower-type thing that pushed through the bag and grew into this great big, again, cauliflower-type thing. Soon the cauliflower started growing the lion’s mane, hence the name. When it started yellowing it was time to harvest.
Since it has been likened to crab or lobster in texture and flavor, I tried a few ways to cook it. First I sauteed it in butter with a little salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon. Very simple and quite tasty. Then I added some heavy cream and a bit more spice and ate it over toast. Also quite tasty. And, then I thought, if it tastes like lobster why not make a lobster salad? I’d say it certainly has that lobster texture, and a slight scent when it’s cooking, but there is also a slight bitterness to it. I solved that problem. A drizzle of honey!
I’m not sure you can find a lion’s mane in the store. (They do grow in the wild–but I don’t suggest you go eating mushrooms you find in the woods, unless you REALLY know what you’re doing) But, you can grow your own. I ordered the kit from Fungi Perfecti. A great science project for the family, and a tasty mushroom salad–that will remind you of lobster salad.
Not Lobster Salad
prep time: 20 minutes
4-6 ounces lion’s mane mushrooms, torn apart into bite-sized pieces (or lobster meat)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 scallion, thinly sliced
1 small celery stick, diced
1/4 red bell pepper, diced
2 tablespoons mayonaise
dash of Old Bay Seasoning
drizzle of honey, to taste
Cook the mushrooms in the olive oil until thoroughly cooked, about 5-6 minutes. Cool. Mix with scallion, celery, pepper, mayonnaise, Old Bay and honey. Serve over a bed of greens.