I've always been a little intimidated by "fancy" mushrooms. I always stuck with the little white button mushrooms, or went rogue once in awhile with portabellas or baby bellas. I mean those fancy mushrooms are all "buy by the handful" and cost like $3.99 a pound or $7.99 a pound, so that is way way way too expensive. I'll just stick to the 2/ $5 packages of whites, thank you very much.
Man was I missing out.
My SIL Kate schooled me in the fancy mushroom department. You see, she had made these incredible pickled shitakes and was all aglow over how amazing they were.
My response -- aren't they kinda expensive?
Kate -- well no not really...they weigh next to nothing, so you buy the whole basket and it is not even a pound.
Yes of course they aren't that expensive - they barely weigh anything! Brilliant!
The next day I was off to the grocery store to try my hand at shitakes...2 handfuls for about a buck.
I decided to pair the earthy shitakes with lavender oil and salt I had from the harvest last fall. Don't be intimidated by those two ingredients! Simply harvest lavender flowers in the summer/fall and let them dry. Grind up the lavender with kosher salt and let the flavors meld for a few weeks before using. Same goes with the oil. Simply put the dried flowers (not the stems of leaves!) into a bottle of olive oil and let it sit for a week or so before using. One 8 oz. bottle requires about 2-3 T of lavender.
After decided on the flavorings, I needed a base, and my go to is a roasted potato hash. The recipe is simply really. All the ingredients are "2"'s. 2 handfuls of little yellow or red potatoes, 2 handfuls of mushrooms, 2 small white onions, 2 Tb lavender oil and 2 pinches of lavender salt. Chop the potatoes, mushrooms and onions into uniform bite-sized chunks. Make sure you chop the little ends (the part that attaches to the soil) of the mushrooms off as they are very chewy and hard.
Mix all the ingredients with your oil and salt and bake at 350 degrees until your house smells amazing and the potatoes are fork tender (around 30 minutes). Let the dish cool for 5-10 minutes and serve with optional additional lavender salt. Enjoy!