Despite the calendar's proclamation of spring, my winter coat has remained in frequent rotation for most of this chilly Northeast April, and I've been craving hearty comfort foods on the regular: Mr Yogi's Hatch green chili stew has saved us several times, along with brothy soups, pots of spicy lentil dal, and lots of roasted roots.
I always find the between-season flux particularly challenging, especially from the immunity perspective. So along with my must-have morning lemon-ginger elixir and a few targeted supplements (I've noticed big improvements the last few months with zinc, D3, and B complex), I've been relying on immune-boosting mushrooms and miso to get me through in one piece. Rich in nutrients, these foods also help cleanse the body’s systems and support healthy digestion and immune function.
During a recent recipe testing session I came up with one of my favorite mushroom dishes to date: a creamy shiitake + crimini ragout that's savory and satisfying, punctuated with the verdant sweetness of green peas and herbal fragrance of fresh thyme. Finishing the ragout with a touch of butter lends an extra luxurious quality to the rich, miso-based sauce, but the dish can also be made completely dairy-free by leaving it out.
Serve the ragout alone as a side dish or as a main course with polenta, pasta, or a whole grain such as brown rice or quinoa. I think it would also make a satisfying gravy over a plant-based protein such as seared tempeh or grilled tofu.
Shiitake Mushroom and Green Pea Ragout with Chickpea MisoAdapted from Saveur Magazine’s Wild Mushroom Ragout
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes
1/2 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms1/2 pound fresh crimini mushrooms
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
3/4 cup water or vegetable stock
2 tablespoons chickpea miso paste
1/2 cup shelled green peas (thawed, if frozen)
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Trim mushrooms and remove stems, reserving for another use (to make stock, etc). Slice caps into ½-inch strips.
2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic and cook until tender, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Whisk together water (or stock) and miso paste in a bowl until miso is completely dissolved.
4. Add mushrooms to skillet and cook until they release their liquid, about 5 minutes. Add miso mixture, peas, and thyme to skillet. Simmer for 5 minutes, allowing the liquid to thicken. Stir in butter and parsley.
5. Season with black pepper, to taste.