The Year of the Mushroom: the loveliness of new veggies and new vendors

One of the joys of each new market season is meeting new vendors and the new products they add to the Fulton and Kingfield market mix. I can confidently declare 2013 the Year of the Mushroom … and our first few weeks the Month of the Asparagus.

On Saturdays, Mississippi Mushrooms’ Ian Silver-Ramp brings his northeast-Minneapolis-grown morsels to Fulton. They have names that rival heirloom tomato varieties: Lion’s Mane, King Oyster, Nameko, Beech and Paddy Straw Mushrooms. On Sundays, Cherry Tree House’s Jeremy McAdams — a longtime grower and evangelist — is now a Kingfield regular, selling Shiitake, Oyster and Nameko mushrooms grown in south Minneapolis.

Mushrooms are rich in anti-oxidants and vitamins, and King Oysters are high in iron. For our family, mushrooms have moved from a topping to a main course — these fresh, meaty morsels have become the centerpiece of meatless meals like a farm-fresh omelet or creamy pasta. I’ve adapted on Jeremy recipe to include our other new crop, asparagus, which several of our vendors finally have after waiting multiple years that the spears need to mature.

You can substitute garlic scapes or another fresh, firm veggie if asparagus season has passed, and don’t forget — we have eggs and cheese from multiple vendors at both markets:

Mushroom Asparagus Quiche 

(ingredients)

3-6 oz. Shiitake or Oyster Mushrooms
1 onion, thinly sliced
8 oz. trimmed asparagus spears
3-6 tablespoons butter
¾ farmers market cheese, your choice of variety
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 ½ cups milk or half-and-half
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon fish sauce (optional)

(directions)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line 8-inch plate with pastry and bake 5 minutes

Wash mushrooms under cool water. Trim any remaining dirty sections and tough stems; save for soup stock. Chop or slice mushroom caps and sauté in 3-4 tablespoons of butter until soft and slightly brown, about 5 minutes. If mushrooms look dry, add more fat to pan.

Trim any tough asparagus stems and chop remaining tender parts into bite-sized pieces.  Lightly sauté in remaining butter, until al dente and bright green. Cook onion in remaining fat.

Cube cheese if firm; if not, arrange in dollops over inside of partly baked pastry. Spread mushrooms, asparagus and onion over the cheese. Combine the eggs, milk and seasoning and whisk until frothy. Add to the pie plate.

Bake 15 minutes, then reduce oven to 350 degrees, baking until knife inserted 1 inch from pastry edge comes out clean, perhaps 10 minutes longer.