Summertime is Mushroom Time

Gourmet Mushrooms' Chef Liaison Bob Engel reminds us that Mushrooms aren't just for cold weather menues.

Specialty Mushrooms for Summer Menus


Spicy Grilled Trumpet Royale


Trumpet Royale™ are great on the grill. They have a firm, meaty texture and a natural affinity for sweet spices.  Any good Asian grocer or health food store will have garam masala, a traditional Punjabi blend that comprises eight to a dozen or more different spices including cinnamon, cumin and coriander. Think of it as the sweet spices from curry without the hot ones.

 8 ounces king oyster mushrooms, such as Trumpet Royale™

3-4 Tablespoons olive oil

1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaf

1 teaspoon garam masala

¼ teaspoon salt


Smaller mushrooms may be left whole, cut larger ones in half. Combine all ingredients except mushrooms and whisk. Add mushrooms and toss to coat. Grill on hot grill, turning once, until brown grill marks show.  May also be oven-roasted for five minutes at 450 °.  Side dish for two or three or garnish for six or more servings.


Thai Mushroom Appetizer

2 Tablespoons mild vegetable oil

8 oz. honshimeji mushrooms, such as Alba Clamshell™ and/or Brown Clamshell™ mushrooms

1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger root, grated (optional)

2 Tablespoons Thai fish sauce

2 Tablespoons lime juice

1 teaspoon light brown sugar

2 Tablespoons each, thin sliced green onion, cilantro leaf and fresh mint

a pinch or two of cayenne pepper (optional)


Heat vegetable oil in broad skillet on medium high. Add mushrooms, whole or sliced, Cook three minutes on high. Stir together the lime juice, Thai fish sauce and brown sugar (and cayenne if desired). Add this mixture to the pan and remove from heat. When cool add green onion and herbs. Serve cold as an appetizer. Serves four.




 Grilled Nebrodini Bianco

In Italy this mushroom is sometimes called the Sicilian Grilling Oyster. Its texture and mild, sweet flavor are reminiscent of shellfish, particularly abalone or scallops. This presentation should be served warm as an appetizer or an accompaniment with a simple pasta.


               8 ounces Nebrodini Bianco™

               3 tablespoons olive oil

               ½ teaspoon dried basil

               1 teaspoon minced garlic

               ¼ teaspoon salt

               a few grinds of fresh black pepper


Slice mushrooms into ¼ inch thick slabs. (Smaller mushrooms can be just cut in half). Combine olive oil and seasonings. Brush both sides of the sliced mushrooms with the oil mixture. Grill on the barbeque until grill marks show. May also be cooked in a lightly oiled cast iron pan on the stove top, or roasted in the oven at 425 degrees.



 Clamshell en Salsa


8 oz. Alba Clamshell™ or Brown Clamshell™ mushrooms or a mix of both

¼ cup diced red onion

1 small tomato, seeded and chopped

2 tsp. seasoned rice vinegar

2 tsp wine vinegar

1/8 tsp. kosher salt

2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro

1 jalapeño pepper, minced


Arrange the Clamshell™ mushrooms clusters on an ungreased baking sheet.  Sprinkle with salt and roast at 375 degrees for 5-7 minutes or until the moisture has been released, and mushrooms are par-cooked.  Cool to room temperature.  Chop mushrooms in half.  Combine the other seven ingredients and mix in the Clamshell™ mushrooms.  Chill for at least an hour before serving. (To prepare the jalapeño: wear gloves or wash hands thoroughly after chopping. Remove all seeds and membrane, then mince.)


Velvet Pioppini Pasta Salad with Coppa and Parmesan

A new twist on a perennial favorite. For visual appeal and to hold the seasonings, chose a pasta with an interesting shape, my favorite is creste di gallo, rooster’s crest, or substitute penne rigate. (Coppa is Italian dry-cured pork shoulder. Substitute prosciutto)










½ pound pasta

2 quarts lightly salted water

¼ cup olive oil, for sauté

2 teaspoons minced garlic

8 ounces Velvet Pioppini™ mushrooms, stem cut on an angle into ¼ inch pieces, caps sliced thinly

¼ cup olive oil, additional

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

3 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

4 ounces coppa, thinly-sliced, then cut into strips

2 ounces parmesan, shaved


Cook pasta in lightly salted water until just al dente. Rinse under cold water until cool. Meanwhile sauté the garlic and mushrooms over medium heat for about four minutes using the first quarter cup of olive oil. Add cooked mushrooms and all the remaining ingredients except the parmesan cheese to the pasta. Toss well. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Garnish with shaved parmesan before serving. Serves 4-8