Mushrooms #1 – A gift from Julia Child

April 28th, 2010 / Comments 0

The first mushroom I knew about was the red one with white spots that killed the king of the elephants in The Story of Babar.

Poisonious mushroom c egbert Mushrooms #1   A gift from Julia Child

Then, there were those stories that included frogs, toads, toadstools, kissing and princes, yuck! When my father’s friends gave us wild mushrooms, their promises that none were poisonous did not encourage me to try the black, slimy concoction they became. Mushrooms, no thank you!

The turning point in my relationship with mushrooms came when I saw Julia Child cook them. Her method was simple and the lightly browned mushrooms could be served at any meal. After all the ricotta pastries I had enjoyed in Sicily, I wanted to make a low fat, high flavor, savory breakfast in my Vermont kitchen. Sautéed mushrooms served with whole-wheat toast and a pot of tea would be perfect. Here’s how I did it:

Sauteed Mushrooms (with a nod to Julia)

I washed and dried 500 g of small, white button mushrooms and trimmed the stems. I heated a tablespoon of unsalted butter in a 25 cm cast iron skillet until the butter had foamed but not browned and then added the mushrooms. After a quick stir, I added a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice and a pinch of dried thyme. In less than five minutes the toast was ready, the tea was brewed, the mushrooms were lightly browned and breakfast was on the table.

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