The Meaty Mushroom

In April 2016, Eat by Paige LuckLeave a Comment

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Want to cook more vegetarian dishes, but miss that meaty flavor? Mushrooms pack a powerful umami-filled punch to vegetarian dishes and enhance meat dishes.

The Japanese term “umami” means ‘savory taste.’ Mushrooms have it in spades; use them in any dish you want to add a savory, brothy depth of flavor.

In the past 15 years, mushrooms have emerged as a specialty crop in North Carolina. Shiitakes, a mushroom prized for its especially meaty flavor, are grown on oak tree logs. In the recipe below, use any mix of mushrooms. Weaning off meat? Go for shiitakes!

The walnuts push these “burgers” into meal status, rich and filling. Or consider them for a hearty appetizer. Just make the patties smaller. Serve them with rice and a side of steamed, buttered green beans for a hearty vegetarian meal.

mushroom walnut patties

Mushroom Walnut Patties

Servings: 2 patties per serving,
4 servings

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes


• ½ cup rolled oats

• 5 ounces shiitake mushrooms

• 5 ounces baby Portobello mushrooms

• 3 garlic cloves

• ½ small onion

• 1 stalk celery

• 4 Tablespoon olive oil, divided

• 1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped

• 2 eggs, lightly beaten

• ½ teaspoon dried thyme

• 1 ¼ teaspoon salt

• ½ teaspoon black pepper

• 2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

• ½ cup panko bread crumbs

In a food processor, grind the oats until finely chopped. Remove to a medium size bowl. Finely chop the mushrooms, garlic, onion and celery in the processor. Place a skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and mushroom mixture. Sauté for 3 minutes or until moist and fragrant. Place in the bowl with the oats. Add walnuts, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Mix well. Add the beaten eggs and stir to mix.

Place the bread crumbs onto a plate. Wipe out the skillet. Return to medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Form a palm full of the mushroom mixture into a loose patty and drop it into the bread crumbs. Coat the patty with bread crumbs and gently knock off any excess. Place the patties in the skillet as you form them, pressing down slightly to make the patty about ½-inch thick. Cook patties for 3 to 4 minutes and then flip. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes on the other side until patties are golden brown and firm. To cook the remaining patties, add 2 tablespoon olive oil and repeat.

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