Often considered a delicacy in modern Asian cuisine, the oyster mushroom was originally cultivated by German plant scientists during World War I as a subsistence measure. It is now grown commercially around the world for food production. We absolutely loved this colorful assortment that we sourced from our friends at Smallhold, based in New York City. If you own a restaurant, catering company, etc. we highly suggest you check them out as a source for your mushrooms needs, as they cultivate many different kinds. PREP TIME: 20min.
COOK TIME: 25min.
WAIT TIME: 4 hours or overnight INGREDIENTS 3lbs. blue and yellow oyster mushrooms finely chopped 1 pint shiitake mushrooms stemmed (reserved) and finely chopped ½ bottle dry white wine (we use sancerre) 2 medium shallots, peeled and finely minced 4 sprigs thyme2 teaspoons herbs de provence 4 tbsp. brown butter or unsalted butter2 bay leaves 1 lemon, zest only 2 cups mushroom broth (made from reserved shiitake stems) 1 ½ - 2 tbsp. kosher or sea salt ¾ tbsp. freshly cracked black pepper 1 tbsp. garlic powder
To a small saucepot, add the rinsed shiitake stems and two cups of water and bring to a vigorous simmer for approximately 30 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and/or cheesecloth and reserve cooking liquid. Toss out the stems (or turn them into perfectly good compost).
To a large pot, add the butter and shallots and half of the salt, and sauté until shallots are soft and translucent. Add the oyster and shiitake mushrooms, the rest of the salt, black pepper and garlic powder, and sauté on medium heat until the natural juices of the mushrooms have been completely reduced. Add the white wine to deglaze the pot, then add the thyme sprigs, herbs de provence, bay leaves, lemon zest and shiitake broth. Reduce liquids until only thick paste remains.
Purée the mushroom paste into an almost smooth consistency. Let it cool down for at least four hours, and serve over a bed of leafy greens with balsamic glaze, fresh sliced peaches and everything matzo crackers. Or just, chilled, out of the jar.