Yes, it’s another oyster mushroom recipe!
I’ve sung the praises of these tender delights before, and I don’t think I can refrain from doing it again. Any time I can afford to buy a bunch of these at the farmers market, I do it because the texture is so wonderful, the flavor so delightful, that I can’t resist. (Can mushrooms be a vice?)
This time around, I decided to mix simple food with something a bit more involved. Meet Butternut Broccoli Mushroom Dream, a random conglomeration of ingredients found at the farmers market and grocery stores during this odd transition time between the winter and spring seasons. Somewhere in the US, broccoli came into season and prices dropped while squashes were still emerging from cold storage at local farms.
To bring it all together, I took a little inspiration from Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s 40-Clove Chickpeas and Broccoli and roasted the butternut squash and broccoli along with some garlic cloves.
While that was cooking, I chopped up a bunch of onions and caramelized them before adding the mushrooms and sauteing just until they were soft and tender. Being oil-free makes caramelizing onions a little tricky; you can’t use a lot of water if they start to stick to the pan because it makes them mushy instead of brown. The trick is a very hot pan and a lot of dedicated stirring!
For the “simple” part, I made a tried and true standby: rice and lentils. I thought it would be a good way to round out the meal with some whole grains and one of the most basic of all vegan protein options.
So you have to juggle a few different components to make this meal, but it should all time out just fine. The rice and lentils have to cook for about the same amount of time as the butternut squash and broccoli, and while that’s going on you can caramelize the onions and cook the mushrooms. Don’t forget to use generous amounts of black pepper to season everything–that gives the dish a nice little zip.
- 1 cup long grain brown rice
- 1 cup brown lentils, rinsed and drained
- 4 cups water or vegetable broth
- 1 pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
- 1 pound broccoli, tops cut into florets, stems cubed
- 6 garlic cloves, sliced in half width-wise
- 2 cups onions, chopped
- 9 ounces oyster mushrooms, sliced
- black pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Combine the rice, lentils and water or broth in a large saucepan over high heat. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 40-45 minutes until the liquid is absorbed and both the rice and lentils are tender.
- Line a 9×13-inch baking dish with parchment paper. Add the butternut squash, broccoli and garlic. Sprinkle with pepper and stir to combine. Roast for 30-40 minutes, stirring once about halfway through, until the squash is tender and the broccoli is beginning to brown.
- Meanwhile, preheat a large skillet over high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Add very small splashes of water to the pan if the onions start sticking, but avoid adding too much; you want them caramelized, not soggy! Reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking for about 5 more minutes.
- Add the oyster mushrooms to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to release their juices and the whole thing smells savory. Add black pepper to taste.
- To serve, plate the butternut squash and broccoli. Spoon the onion and mushroom mixture over the top and serve the cooked rice and lentils on the side. Or mix it all together if you prefer. It tastes great either way!
Do you have any food “vices” that you just can’t resist, no matter what the price? Share in the comments!