It’s that time of year when you want to make room for mushrooms

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In January, I always like to munch on mushrooms. Raw or cooked, mushrooms are the perfect kitchen ingredient that can be the star of the dish, or a team player with whatever you pair with this fabulous fungi.

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Mushrooms are good any time of day – breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks – the list is endless. Here’s a selection of dishes perfect for this season, and well into the next.

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As they say – always make room for mushrooms!


– There are over 100 mushrooms farms in Canada with 52% of the country’s production in Ontario.

– Canada grows seven varieties of mushrooms: white “button,” crimini brown, Portobello, shiitake, oyster, Enoki, and King oyster

– Mushrooms are available year-round. The average mushroom picker harvests 40 lb (18 kg) or 1,600 mushrooms per hour.

– Mushrooms are fat-free and low in calories. They contain potassium, riboflavin, selenium, copper, pantothenic acid and niacin.

– A mushroom is more delicate than an egg and bruises easily.

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– To preserve freshness, store in a brown paper bag and use as soon as possible.


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Portobello Mushroom Burgers – Produce Made Simple
Portobello Mushroom Burgers – Produce Made Simple supplied

Portobello Mushroom Burgers

Tasty, hearty and super fun to make, these Portobello burgers are delicious pan seared or on your BBQ. Makes 4 burgers. Courtesy

4 Portobello mushrooms with stems removed.

1/8 tsp. EACH, salt, pepper, oregano and garlic powder

2 Tbsp. butter or olive oil if grilling

4 slices quality cheddar cheese

4 burger buns of your choice

3 Tbsp. spicy mayo (or burger sauce of your choice)

Arugula, red onions sliced, tomato slices, pickles and your favorite burger toppings.

Season mushrooms with salt, pepper, oregano and garlic powder on both sides. Preheat a skillet or grill at medium high heat. If using the stove/skillet, add in butter and place mushrooms cap side down to sear. If using the grill, drizzle olive oil on both sides of mushroom and then place it cap side down first on grill.

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Flip mushroom after 3 minutes and cook for another 3 minutes until it feels tender. Add cheese on top of each mushroom and cover lightly for 2 minutes until the cheese melts.

Assemble burgers to your taste by spreading your favourite burger sauce/spicy mayo, and pile up toppings. Add mushroom with melted cheese over toppings and then sprinkle some chili flakes if you’d like. Cover mushroom with top bun and serve immediately.

Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Gravy –
Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Gravy – supplied

Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Gravy

A retro classic that’s perfect for cold-weather season. Serves 4. Courtesy

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1 tsp. oil

1 small onion, diced

1/2 lb. diced crimini mushrooms

1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper

1/2 lb. extra lean ground beef

1/3 cup breadcrumbs

1 large egg, beaten

1 tsp. Italian seasoning


1 Tbsp. salted butter

1/2 cup sliced onion

1 cup sliced button mushrooms

Pinch each salt and pepper

1 1/2 cups beef broth

1/2 cup frozen peas

1 Tbsp. cornstarch

2 Tbsp. cold water

1/4 cup sliced green onions

Salisbury Steaks: Heat oil in a medium sized skillet over medium-high heat. Cook onion for 1 minute. Mix in mushrooms, salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes stirring. Take off heat and cool slightly.

In a large bowl, mix together beef, mushroom mixture, breadcrumbs, 1 egg and Italian seasoning until well combined. Form meat mixture into 4 equal sized patties. Cook in a large skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Take skillet off heat and set patties aside on a plate.

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Gravy: In same skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions, mushrooms, salt and pepper. Cook for 3 minutes or until vegetables have softened. Whisk in beef broth and bring to a simmer. Stir in peas and cook for 1 minute.

In a small bowl mix cornstarch with cold water. Whisk cornstarch mixture into broth and continue until smooth. Cook for 1 minute or until sauce has just thickened. Add meat back to pan and spoon gravy over top. Sprinkle with green onions and serve.

Mushroom and Cheddar Quesadillas – Foodland Ontario
Mushroom and Cheddar Quesadillas – Foodland Ontario supplied

Mushroom and Cheddar Quesadillas

These little quesadillas are a perfect appetizer for a casual get-together. Serve them alone or with a bowl of  guacamole and/or sour cream. Courtesy

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

1 pkg. white button mushrooms, chopped

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2 cloves garlic, minced

Salt and pepper

1/3 cup chopped fresh coriander leaves

2 Tbsp. finely diced jalapeño pepper

1 cup shredded white aged cheddar cheese

6 (6-inch) corn tortillas

In large nonstick skillet, heat half of oil over medium heat. Add mushrooms and garlic and cook until softened and slightly coloured, 3 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and let cool. Stir in coriander, jalapeño and cheese.

Arrange 3 tortillas on large baking sheet. Divide and spread mushroom mixture evenly on top. Cover each with second tortilla, pressing down gently. Heat remaining oil in skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, cook quesadillas until tortillas are golden brown and crisp, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Cut each round into 8 wedges. Serve immediately.

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Mushroom Marsala with Barley – Foodland Ontario
Mushroom Marsala with Barley – Foodland Ontario supplied

Mushroom Marsala with Barley

Using a variety of mushrooms adds multiple elements of taste to the dish. The barley adds nutrient value and a slight crunch. Serves 4-6. Recipe courtesy

2 Tbsp. EACH vegetable oil and butter

2 onions, thinly sliced

2 pkgs (227 g each) crimini and white button mushrooms, thinly sliced

1 tsp. dried thyme leaves

1/2 tsp. each coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

1-1/2 cup barley (pearl or pot)

1/2 cup dry Marsala wine or vegetable broth

4 cups sodium-reduced vegetable broth

1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese (chèvre)

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves

In large Dutch oven, heat oil and butter over medium heat. Add onions, mushrooms, thyme, salt and pepper. Increase heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring, for about 15 minutes. Add barley, stir to coat. Add wine and cook; stirring until  almost evaporated, about 2 minutes.

Add broth; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally until barley is tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Let  stand for 5 minutes. Serve in bowls. Top with goat cheese and parsley.

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