Posts Tagged ‘mushrooms’

Best Ever Roasted Turnip Thanksgiving Side Dish

Friday, November 19th, 2010

Well if you’re reading this, my shameless headline ploy must have worked. In a world of Thanksgiving dinner-in-a-cake, deep-fried turkeys and enough stuffing recipes to fill a thousand (free-range, please) turkeys, I was worried the lowly turnip might be overlooked.

Truthfully, we’re a little fed up with turnips here at the Foodie Tots house. Victims of an apparent turnip glut at our CSA farm, we’ve gotten gobs and gobs of these bland root vegetables week after week. Now, they’re not all bad. They have just one-third the calories of potatoes, and a generous dose of calcium, iron, vitamin C and even folate. (And be sure to eat the greens, too!) They also have that slightly bitter taste that gives them away should you try to pass them off as mashed potatoes. (Though a 75/25 potato/turnip blend might be more palatable.) I’ve found roasting these, with fresh thyme and a hint of honey, to be the best way to sweeten them up a little. Adding bright carrots and earthy mushrooms further helps balance the flavors, while making a simple and attractive side dish for Thanksgiving or just alongside your weekend roast.

Recipe: Honey-Thyme Roasted Turnips, Carrots and Mushrooms


  • 4-5 medium sized turnips, scrubbed clean
  • 4 carrots, peeled
  • 1 cup thickly-sliced shitake mushrooms
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • sea salt
  • black pepper

Instructions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Chop turnips and carrots into 1/2-inch pieces. In a large bowl, toss turnip and carrot pieces with 1/4 cup olive oil, making sure to evenly coat vegetables. Season with salt and pepper, and pour into a rimmed baking sheet or shallow roasting pan. Tuck thyme in between the vegetables. Roast for 20 minutes, until bottom sides are beginning to brown. Remove from oven, add honey and balsamic vinegar and stir. Sprinkle mushrooms across top, and drizzle with additional 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add a little more sea salt, return to oven and roast an additional 20-25 minutes. Turnips should be easily pierced with a fork when it’s done. Makes 4-6 servings. Enjoy!

{Round out your meal with green beans almondine (instead of that goopy green bean casserole), homemade cider & maple-syrup sweetened cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie (from a real pumpkin).}

Winter Farmers Markets: Looking for turnips? If your CSA’s not delivering (ours ended this week), you can still find turnips at local farmers markets. Many Northern Virginia markets closed for the season at the end of October, but the West End Alexandria market, in Ben Brenman Park (at Cameron Station), is open this Sunday, Nov. 21, from 9am-1pm. (Papa’s Orchard has a great selection of pears and apples for your Thanksgiving baking!) The Falls Church, Arlington/Courthouse, Columbia Pike, Del Ray and Old Town Alexandria markets are open year-round.

I know I’ve been slacking in sharing new meals with you, meatless and otherwise. Would a cute baby picture make it up to you? I mean, can you fault me for not writing with this cute tot around?

foodie bebe november

Picnic Basket? Check. Mushrooms?

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Need some new ideas for your upcoming summer picnics? Check out my Mediterranean Mushroom Salad Croissants over on The Mushroom Channel.

mushroom salad croissant

Egg Noodles with Morels

Monday, April 5th, 2010

morelsMushrooms are the perfect centerpiece of Meatless Monday meals — particularly the meaty and flavorful fresh mushrooms now available at local farmers markets. And did you know that mushrooms are the only vegetable that provides Vitamin D? They also contain potassium, antioxidants and even protein. Morels, available locally for a very limited period in the spring, have an intense earthy flavor that is every bit as satisfying as a juicy steak — and that’s a good thing, as morels are about as pricey as a steak. Here in the DC area, they go for $20 a pint at the Mushroom Stand (Penn Quarter, Dupont Circle, Arlington farmers markets). I won’t depress my neighbors by mentioning how much I paid for them in Oregon. Regardless, they are worth the once- or twice-a-year splurge and make for an easy weeknight meal as they benefit from a very simple preparation with nothing more than butter, sea salt and a splash of wine. We enjoyed this with a salad of fresh herbs and Loudoun lettuce mix and a sourdough bread from the Penn Quarter farmers market.

To prep the morels, I swish them gently in a bowl of cold water before cutting them in half, length-wise, and rinsing gently under running water to remove any dirt or insects that may be hidden inside. Pat them dry and place on paper towels to air dry the rest of the way before cooking — cooking wet mushrooms can cause slimy or mushy results.

So far my son is about 50/50 on whether he’s in the mood to eat mushrooms, but an extra dose of grated cheese helps smooth the way. You can also make this with whatever kind of mushroom you have on hand when morels aren’t available — honey mushrooms are another favorite of ours.

Recipe: Egg Noodles with Morels


  • 1 pint morels, cleaned and halved (see above)
  • 8 ounces wide egg noodles
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped
  • grated parmesan cheese, optional

Instructions: Cook egg noodles according to package instructions. While the noodles cook, melt one tablespoon of the butter in a large heavy skillet over medium high heat. Cook the morels in a single layer until edges begin to brown, about 8-10 minutes. Turn them only once while cooking. When browned, sprinkle with a generous pinch of sea salt, add remaining three tablespoons of butter and the wine and let cook a minute more. Remove from heat. Drain egg noodles and toss with the parsley. Gently fold in the morels and sauce. Garnish with parmesan cheese, if desired, and enjoy! Makes 4 servings.

The FoodieTots family participates in Meatless Mondays, cutting out meat one day a week for our health and for the environment. (When we do eat meat, we choose local and grassfed whenever possible.) Visit the Meatless Monday pledge page to learn more and sign up for weekly tips and recipes you can use to go meatless, too!

Meatless Monday ~ Mushroom Polenta

Monday, January 25th, 2010

We were very disappointed to lose the mushroom vendor from our neighborhood (Del Ray) market this past year, especially as I had made such great progress the prior year in convincing my previously mushroom-adverse husband that they really weren’t so bad. So now to get our local ‘shroom fix I have to head to one of the FreshFarm markets, which means Dupont Circle in the winter months.

The preferred choice of both the husband and my son are these cute, sweet little honey mushrooms. They require little effort to prepare, and for a really easy meal, I whipped up some instant polenta, with a generous touch of cheese, then topped it with leftover tomato sauce and sauteed mushrooms.

Quick and scrumptious, what could be better for a (meatless) Monday night?

Recipe: Polenta al Funghi (Mushroom Polenta)


  • 1 pint honey mushrooms
  • 1 box instant polenta
  • 4 cups water
  • salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup pasta sauce


1. Bring water to a boil.

2. Rinse mushrooms and pat dry. Heat a dry skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring only once or twice, until they begin to darken. Add 1 tablespoon butter to pan and remove from heat. Season mushrooms with sea salt and pepper.

3. Prepare polenta as instructed on package. When thickened, stir in 1 tablespoon butter and the cheese. Remove from heat.

4. Warm pasta sauce.

5. Spoon polenta onto plates, shaping a small well in the center. Top with a few spoonfuls of pasta sauce and scatter mushrooms over the top. Enjoy! Makes 4 servings.

April Showers Bring Spring Market Openings

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

It’s been a rainy spring thus far in the Washington area, and I keep reminding myself that April showers bring May strawberries, June blueberries, and so on. Cherry blossoms have bloomed, and bringing even more reason for cheer, April marks the first re-openings of our area’s seasonal farmers markets.

penn quarter dc farmers market

Last week saw the opening of DC Fresh Farm’s Foggy Bottom (Wednesday) and Penn Quarter (Thursday) markets, and this coming Saturday is the official re-opening of my neighborhood market, the Del Ray Farmers Market in Alexandria. Judging from the lines at Smith Meadows’ stand lately at our “secret” winter market, Saturday is sure to be busy so get there early for the best selection. Mr. Biggs has already been back with greenhouse-grown tomatoes that will help tide you over till summer. And for other markets in the area, Fairfax County markets open the first week in May and the Alexandria Upper King Street market doesn’t open until June. See the end of this post for a complete list of opening dates.

morels mushrooms

Opening Day Find – Morels! Last Thursday at Penn Quarter’s grand opening, I snagged some of the first morels of the season from the Mushroom Lady; they will be available in greater quantities in the next few weeks. There were plenty of fresh greens to be had, but no signs of asparagus quite yet. Last year’s apples and pears are on their last legs, but fresh strawberries are still a few weeks away.

farmers market dc

As the market season kicks into gear, watch for new features here at FoodieTots, particularly for those of you in the Northern VA/DC area. In an effort to make room for new resources on the sidebar, I’ve moved and expanded my “Eat Local, Elsewhere” blog list to the “Locavore Links” tab up above. Check it out and let me know of other locavore bloggers I should be following. Thanks as always for reading, and stay dry out there!

Read on for the complete Northern Virginia Farmers Market 2009 Schedule…