OYSTER MUSHROOM + PISTACHIO QUINOA BOWL

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We went to the farmers market around 12 one Saturday, right as it was closing up. All of the egg vendors with "sold out" signs packing up, trailers being filled up with potted plants and coolers full of spinach, beets, and basil, folks breaking down their white canvas tents. It was  a rainy day, and everyone was closing down about 20 minutes early. Logan and I had been hiding in our house until the rain stopped. I guess we weren't the only ones. We grabbed a carton of eggs (of the 3 left in the whole lot), and stopped by a mushroom vendor selling shitakes, oysters, button mushrooms, and the like. His table was still piled high with mushrooms. Any other Saturday, it would have been slim pickings. 

Sun peaked out of the wet clouds, and shed some spotty light on the table, making the yellow oysters sort of dance and glisten. I'm pretty familiar with the blue-gray oyster mushrooms, so we asked for a 1/2 pound. The vendor just started shoveling oyster mushrooms into the bag, the blues and the yellows. He gave us about a pound at half price: "I just want to get these out of my sight," he said with a tired, young smile. 

Oyster mushrooms have become one

of my favorite treats. The yellows smell strongly of the sea, with a delicate texture that almost crumbles in your hands, tasting so much of seafood. The blues have that gorgeous supple, chewy, slick texture once cooked, with a flavor savory and rich. Recently I've just been sautéing them with oil, salt, smoked paprika, and maple syrup. For a mushroom-love, the stuff is moan-worthy. 

This is a great lunch-time or dinner-time meal, especially for hot days. It's equally good hot and cold.

Recipe

Serves 2

Ingredients:

1 cup Dry Quinoa

2 cups Water

1/2 tsp Salt

Fresh Cracked Pepper

1 tsp Chopped Fresh Rosemary

1 cup mixed Blue and Yellow Oyster Mushrooms, pulled apart from their bases into smaller portions

1/2 cup Maple Syrup

1 tbsp Hungarian Bittersweet Smoked Paprika 

1/4 cup Coconut Oil

1/2 tsp salt, or more to taste

1 cup Pistachios, to garnish

Heat a pot of 2 cups water on the stove until boiling. Add quinoa, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook for 15 minutes, until the grains are soft and fluff up with a fork. Add salt, pepper, and rosemary. 

Heat a skillet on medium heat. Add the blue oysters and sautee for 2 minutes. Add the yellow mushrooms and sautee for another 2 to 3 minutes. The mushrooms will release some water, and begin to wilt. Add coconut oil, salt, and paprika. Sautee 5 minutes, or until the mushrooms become totally soft (they will retain some chewy texture). Add maple syrup, and cook 1 minute more. 

To serve, scoop 1/2 cup cooked quinoa into a bowl, top with mushrooms and pistachios. This goes great with a knob of fresh goat cheese, too.

Bon appétit!