Easy dinner recipes: Meatless Monday options for mushroom lovers

Keep it vegetarian this Meatless Monday with hearty mushroom recipes

When you're looking for an ingredient to add rich depth to a dish, mushrooms are a favorite option. With their meaty flavor and earthy notes, they lend great depth and texture to many a dish, vegetarian or not.

Wild mushroom soup: Christopher Czarnecki, chef-owner of the Joel Palmer House in Dayton, Ore., shares his recipe for a wild mushroom soup that is rich with flavor yet simple to make. It's not surprising that the soup is so good: His father, restaurant founder Jack Czarnecki, is a legendary mushroom hunter and cook.

Wild mushroom frittata: Thinly sliced wild mushrooms with tangy creme fraiche, Pecorino Romano, sliced garlic and shallot, and fresh thyme and chives pair well in this tempting frittata.

Craft's mushrooms: A blend of mushrooms — crimini, shiitake, oyster, trumpet royale and maitake — is sautéed in a garlic-shallot butter and tossed with chopped fresh herbs in this dish, which works well either as a substantial side or light main course. You can find the recipe below.

CRAFT’S MUSHROOMS

Total time: 40 minutes | Serves 4 to 6

3 sprigs tarragon

6 sprigs parsley

3 sprigs chervil

3 medium-sized shallots

12 cloves garlic

6 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups halved or quartered crimini mushrooms

1 1/2 cups halved baby shiitake mushrooms

1 1/2 cups diced oyster mushrooms

1 1/2 cups diced trumpet royale mushrooms (also known as eringe mushrooms)

1 1/2 cups diced or torn maitake mushrooms (also known as hen of the woods)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Pick the leaves off the tarragon, parsley and chervil. Mince them together and set aside for later.

2. Mince the shallots and garlic cloves together. Using a sauté pan, cook the garlic and shallots in 3 tablespoons oil over medium-low heat until they are translucent, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently so the shallot and garlic does not burn. Add the butter and continue to cook the garlic and shallots until they are tender. Set the garlic-shallot butter aside.

3. Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat until hot. Add the remaining vegetable oil and sauté the mushrooms until they are golden brown, seasoning with one-half teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper, or to taste.

4. Add the garlic-shallot butter to the mushrooms as well as the chopped herbs. Stir the mushrooms in the sauté pan so that they are evenly coated with the herbs and garlic- shallot butter.

5. Taste the mushrooms and add more salt if needed.

6. Drain the mushrooms briefly on paper towels to remove any excess fat if desired before serving.

Each of 6 servings: 207 calories; 3 grams protein; 7 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 20 grams fat; 5 grams saturated fat; 15 mg cholesterol; 3 grams sugar; 202 mg sodium

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