Hey there mycophiles! People will go to all sorts of lengths for a tasty mushroom. Some head straight out into the woods at the earliest opportunity, armed with knowledge of what can be picked, and probably a big ol’ basket.
Foraging is a great way to get food, but the knowledge part isn’t optional, particularly with mushrooms. Many people forage around the grocery store instead, sometimes finding the fancy ones, like oyster mushrooms.
During the pandemic, there’s been something of a DIY renaissance. Mushrooms, especially fancy ones, are now available to grow at home. A while ago, we were gifted a growing kit by Forij Mushrooms, from a family friend of our own Andrew Wade. Forij is a fun way to spell Forage, while still sounding the same when said out loud. We made a timelapse video of the kit growing. Here it is.
So Forij saw the video and loved it. So much so that they sent us another kit so we could make another video. This time we got some really cool pink oyster mushrooms. We made a video, but couldn’t decide on the sound, so here are our pink oyster mushrooms, served 3 ways! Words by Andrew Wade.
A few quick words about time-lapse. We did it in a kind terrible way, where we manually took photos every half hour (almost, zzzz) for the duration of the project. More than 3 days. Our main camera has a time-lapse setting, but it’s calibrated for shorter intervals, like taking a pic every 30-120 seconds, over the course of 45 minutes. It was kind of fun, though.
We bought the macro lens we used for the closer-in shots on the last day of filming, otherwise we’d probably have used it more.
Growing the kit was fun and easy. You can walk away for an hour and come back and see a noticeable difference. We went for the biggest possible flush of mushrooms, for video purposes, but that’s not really the way to maximize the yield of the kit. If you get a kit, which you can do here, make sure you read the instructions.
I do have one negative for Forij to consider, and that’s plastic packaging. Reduce as much as you can. Honestly, if you can figure out some sort of mushroom-based packaging, and make the spritz bottle optional (and extra $), you’ll look like geniuses and save a pile of cash.
Your mushrooms, however, are delightful! A loose recipe for Oyster Mushroom Crustini is below! Thanks for reading!
Oyster Mushroom Crustini
Heat a pan to medium high, then add about a tsp or so of minced garlic, and a generous tablespoon or so of butter. Stir or toss them together. Let them get acquainted for a minute or so.
Add a heaping handful of sliced mushrooms to the pan. Turn down the heat to medium, or medium low if you have a really hot element or thin pan. Sautee the mushrooms for a few minutes until just cooked. Remove from heat.
Add a half tsp of Dijon Mustard (optional, and I like more), a hunk of Asiago cheese (optional, can sub Parm, Manchego or even Feta, but those will seek to outshine the shroom flavour), and a few capers (optional). I guess you can skip this step if you don’t have these things.
Add a generous splash of cream to the pan, probably about 1/2 cup, then return to heat. If you’ve used a heavier cream, you’re mostly looking to heat it through and get the flavours in. Lighter creams and even milks are going to need to be reduced gently. It’s easy to go too thick or too thin, but you can adjust with more reducing or additional dairy.
Finish with salt and pepper, chopped green onions, and additional cheese. Serve over a toasted crustini, which is a fancy way of saying slice of bread. If it’s garlic bread toasted on a grill, so much better. Enjoy!