AUGUST 2014 ;e Costco Connection 59
knows that the low-calorie, low-fat and low-sodium fungi are capable of improving the
immune system, reducing the risk of heart
disease and helping to fight and maybe reverse
cancer. “The research is really solid on the
health benefits of mushrooms,” says Schroeder.
In her recent report, Mushrooms—the
New Superfood, leading British nutritionist
Jane Clarke summarized major scientific
studies from around the world that highlight
the nutritional value and the potential of
mushroom health benefits. White mushrooms
are a prime source of vitamin D, and of
L-ergothioneine, a powerful antioxidant that
scavenges free radicals and protects against
DNA damage. Mushrooms provide more
L-ergothioneine than either wheat germ or
chicken liver, the two foods previously believed
to be better sources.
All mushrooms are a good source of B
vitamins, potassium, selenium, copper and
phosphorus. Studies at the Beckman
Research Institute of the City of Hope in
Duarte, California, suggest that white
mushrooms contain an important cancer-fighting substance called conjugated linoleic
The flavorful, healthful fungus among us
By Irene Middleman Thomas
DESPITE THEIR VARYING colors, shapes
and flavors, most table mushrooms are actually of the same variety, Agaricus bisporus.
This includes white (also known as button),
cremini and portobellos. Other names given
to creminis include baby portobellos, baby
bellas, mini bellas and portobellinis—or you
might find them simply referred to as “brown.”
The only difference between the types is their
age. “Cremini mushrooms are just immature
portobellos,” explains Gary Schroeder, a
Costco mushroom supplier.
Schroeder, a professional mycologist
(botanist specializing in fungi), urges those
who grew up eating mushy, tasteless, overcooked mushrooms to sample the nutrition-packed and tasty produce again. “They are
delicious on just about anything,” he says.
Delicious and good for us
My fellow mushroom lovers in the U.S.
buy 900 million pounds of mushrooms each
year. We are passionate about them on pizza,
meats, salads and pasta, but not everyone
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 (24-ounce) package of button or cremini
mushrooms, stems trimmed, stems and
caps cut into ½-inch pieces
1 large shallot, minced
3 tablespoons dry sherry
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 sheet frozen puff pastry (one of two
sheets from a typical 17.3-ounce
package), thawed in the refrigerator
1 large egg, lightly beaten (for egg wash)
3 ounces soft fresh chèvre (goat cheese)
at room temperature, crumbled
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in a large,
heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add
mushrooms in a single layer. Let sit for at least
1 whole minute to begin to caramelize, then
sauté and stir until softened and all liquid is
absorbed, about 5 minutes. Add remaining 1
tablespoon butter to mushrooms in the skillet,
then add the minced shallot. Continue to sauté
until the shallot is soft, about 4 minutes longer.
Add sherry and cook 1 more minute, scraping
the bottom of the pan to release any browned
bits. Add nutmeg and stir to combine. Remove
from heat and season with salt and pepper to
taste. Transfer to a cookie sheet or sheet pan
and let cool. Mushrooms can be sautéed a day
ahead and refrigerated until you are ready to
finish the tart.
Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet
with parchment paper.
Unfold the puff pastry onto a lightly floured
surface. Cut four ½-inch-wide strips from the
perimeter of the puff pastry and set aside.
Transfer the pastry to the prepared baking
sheet. “Dock” the pastry by pricking all over
with the tines of a fork.
Using a pastry brush, brush the ½-inch strips
with the egg wash. Place each of the short
strips, egg side down, on the short ends of pastry to form a raised crust edge; place the long
strips, egg side down, on the long sides of pastry. Trim the edges to be even with the pastry.
Bake the tart shell until lightly golden, about 15
minutes. Remove from the oven. Spread sautéed mushrooms evenly across the center of the
tart shell. Sprinkle the crumbled chèvre on top
of the mushrooms. Garnish with minced thyme,
a pinch of salt and a sprinkle of freshly ground
pepper. Return the tart to the oven for 10 minutes to heat through. Serve hot. Makes 6 servings as an appetizer.
Recipe courtesy of chef Anne Cornell of Relish
Goat Cheese Tart
In our digital editions
Click here to watch mush-room-sautéeing tips. (See
page 12 for details.)
The Costco Connection
Costco members can do their mushroom
foraging in Costco’s produce section, where
they will find cremini and white button mushrooms year-round. CONTINUED ON PAGE 60