Mushrooms always seem to make their way into our shopping cart. The way we see it, a dish is not complete without the addition of criminis, shitakes, chanterelles or good ‘ol white button mushrooms. If you share the same love for mushrooms as our family, you will love this simple appetizer.
Our first experience with Marinated Mushrooms was several years ago at The Green Door Restaurant, one of Ottawa’s oldest and best know vegetarian restaurants. It was this restaurant’s cookbook that first introduced me to the ingredients of umeboshi plum vinegar and umeboshi plum paste – two seasonings or condiments that are now staples in our pantry.
Umeboshi plum vinegar, also known as Ume Su, is popular in Japanese and macrobiotic cooking. It has a very unique flavour giving vegetables, fungi, pasta and rice a salty, sour and fruity taste. If you are vegan and love dishes that traditionally use fish sauce, umeboshi works as a great substitute.
As well, this vinegar is known for its medicinal properties. Made from pickled umeboshi plums, it has an alkalizing effect on the body which helps combat illnesses and disease. Just be sure to look for a bottle that doesn’t contain any nasty ingredients. The brand I purchase has three ingredients: ume (Japanese plum), sea salt and shiso. Check out the site Allergies and Your Gut for more information on the making of umeboshi vinegar and its many health benefits.
Have you tried the Garlic Beets? I use umeboshi vinegar in that recipe, too.
With the summer over (said with tears rolling down my cheeks), why not add edible fungi to your diet. Mushrooms are immune-boosters and most are nutrient-dense.
Crimini mushrooms, otherwise known as “baby bellas” – did you know that crimini mushrooms are a younger version of the portobellas? - are the ones I find most in our local stores. They usually sit next to the white button mushrooms in the produce section. I tend to choose the crimini mushrooms for their medium-brown colour and earthier taste.
MARINATED BABY BELLAS
- 300 grams crimini mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons umeboshi vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried basil or thyme
- chopped parsley to garnish
Clean and trim mushrooms. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Add clean mushrooms and cook for no more than one minute. Drain and let cool.
Add all other ingredients to a bowl and combine well. Do not add salt. The umeboshi vinegar is salty in taste. When mushrooms are cool, add them to the bowl with dressing and toss. Garnish dish with fresh parsley.