I know I’m late to the countertop mushroom kit party, but I’m making up for it with my unbridled enthusiasm… I LOVE growing mushrooms! I mean, I have a healthy love for all things mushrooms (except those boring white button mushrooms that most of us have been so unfortunate to call mushrooms for our whole lives… those are dead to me). Foraging mushrooms. Cooking mushrooms. Eating mushrooms. And now GROWING them too!
I struggled for a few minutes with the fact that the kits come in plastic bags, but like everything else, I’m embracing a #progressnotperfection attitude and looking for ways to eliminate the plastic bag in the future.
I’m growing oyster mushrooms using a grow kit from Mycophile’s Garden. They’re a mushroom farm located in Southwest Michigan and such a gift! I bought my first kit through West Michigan Farm Link (an awesome source for local food that I discovered this winter as I was trying to buy from more local farmers, even during the Michigan winter), but now they’re at my farmers market (and in Kalamazoo, Fulton Street, Grand Haven, St. Joe and others all over southwest Michigan), so I can easily restock. They also sell mushrooms by the pound, so you can pick some up tomorrow morning and make this salad for lunch!
I paid $20 for my oyster mushroom kit and have already harvested 3 pounds of mushrooms! And mine is currently fruiting for the third time right now. It’s the little things like this that bring me so much joy! The kit comes with growing instructions and I’m shocked at how easy it has been to grow these beautiful and delicious oyster mushrooms.
I’m trying to branch out and find new recipes (so please send me your favorites in the comments or by email email@example.com), but it’s hard to try new things when this warm mushroom salad is SO. DAMN. DELICIOUS! I made a disappointing mushroom pizza (with the homegrown oyster mushrooms) a couple of weeks ago and Robbie summed it up well when he said, “I mean this pizza is pretty good, but I’m comparing it to that amazing salad and I want the salad instead.”
I usually make the salad with oyster mushrooms and they’re still my favorite by far, but I’ve tried it with shiitakes and lions mane too and it was pretty good too. If you try it with other varietals, please come back and tell me about it!
(makes lunch/dinner salads for two or three people, more if you’re serving it as a side)
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 to 1 pound mushrooms, cleaned and torn into pieces
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 3 cups salad greens (arugula works really nicely)
- salt + pepper
- Clean your mushrooms. If they’re wild foraged and dirty, I recommend cleaning them as best you can without water, using a pastry brush, blowing the dirt off with your breath, or dusting it off with your fingers. Water changes the texture of mushrooms in a way thats unpleasant to me
- Tear them into large pieces. I read somewhere that the jagged edge makes them crisp up nicely and I’ve come to love the texture of torn mushrooms. If you have stems, chop them into small pieces.
- Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large saute pan, add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally until mushrooms are deep golden brown and have crispy edges, about 10 minutes.
- Add garlic and stir for just another minute to soften garlic a bit. Add balsamic and stir to coat mushrooms.
- Divide lettuce between 2-3 plates, top with warm mushrooms and drizzle with pan juices.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!
I can’t wait for you to come back and tell me how your mushrooms are growing! And if you like this salad! And if you tried it with other kinds of mushrooms!