Maybe You're Cleaning Mushrooms All Wrong

Let's talk about mushrooms for a second. Yes, they're one of the planet's great ingredients: versatile, meaty, laced with umami, all good things. But there's this myth about cleaning mushrooms that has always bugged me and that has plagued home cooks for as long as I can remember. Most people have been convinced (through no fault of their own) that the only way to adequately clean mushrooms, which are notoriously dirty, is to wipe them one by one with a damp towel. This takes forever, and just isn't true. There's a better way. Check it out below.

Now that you're no longer burdened with the responsibility of onerous mushroom cleaning, I've got a couple of recipes in mind; one is a classic, the other a nice surprise. There's mushroom-barley soup, which is (or should be) an absolutely staple in fall and winter; this version couldn't possibly be simpler or more comforting. Then there's one of my favorite non-meat burgers, made with mushrooms, nuts and rolled oats (among other things). Yes, technically they're "veggie burgers," but calling them that puts them in the same category as those frozen pucks you get from the supermarket, and they couldn't be more different from those. These ones are so much better, and it's also really easy to make a big batch and freeze them. I eat (and love) regular burgers, and still find these satisfying (check out the miso and tahini variations, too).

Give them a try. Or don't. But do yourself a favor and make something with mushrooms this week; you won't know what to do with all that free time.

—Mark


Whether you cook mushrooms constantly, infrequently, or somewhere in between, there’s a decent chance you’re cleaning them wrong.

THE FAST WAY TO CLEAN MUSHROOMS


I've made tons of meatless burgers since becoming a part-time vegan, and they’re always better than store-bought. Almost as convenient too: Just double or triple the batch and freeze the burgers on a wax paper–lined tray until solid; then wrap them up and keep them frozen for a rainy day.

MUSHROOM NUT BURGERS


Barley and mushrooms are a wonderfully earthy combination, especially in winter. If you have some dried mushrooms on hand, reconstitute a small handful and add them to the fresh mushrooms about halfway through cooking. (Strain and use their soaking liquid to replace some of the water or stock.) You can also make this soup even heartier by stirring in chopped parsnips, sweet potatoes, or potatoes after cooking the carrots and mushrooms.

MUSHROOM BARLEY SOUP


Talk To Me, Goose!

Questions, comments, brilliant suggestions? Just want to share the recipe for your grandma's potato salad, or your mom's meatloaf, or your uncle Drew's three-day 100-percent rye loaf (yes, please)? Don't hesitate to reach out anytime.