Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Roasted Mushrooms with Walnut Pesto

We have five basics tastes - sweet, sour, bitter and salty. The fifth is umami. While sodium delivers saltiness, and sugar delivers sweetness, glutamate delivers umami.  (yes,  the same glutamate found in the taste enhancing  MSG  - . monosodium glutamate - and why it's used as a taste enhancer).
g MSG  - . monosodium glutamate - and why it's used as a taste enhancer).
Red meats satisfy the umami receptors as do mushrooms, ripe tomatoes and tomato sauce, and fermented and aged products (e.g. strong cheeses like parmesan, fish pastes and soy sauce used in Asian cuisines).  Great chefs give careful thought as to how to satisfy the umami taste receptors.  When creating plant-based meals that will satisfy everyone in your family, you must be thinking about how to excite the umami receptors.
This roasted mushroom with walnut pesto sauce can be a go-to umami recipe.  Add some chickpeas to create a 'meatier' course.
Pep time: 30 min. cookbook time under 45 minutes serves 4


1lbMushrooms (medium)
1⁄2cChickpeas (cooked and dried)
1⁄2cWalnut Pesto (see recipe)
1⁄4cParmesan cheese (optional)


Roasted Mushrooms:
Preheat oven to 400° F. 
Cut mushrooms in half, and spread mushrooms out on large baking sheet.  Make sure to leave some space between each mushroom to assure even roasting.  Roast the mushrooms for 20 to 25 minutes. Flip and continue to roast for 10 minutes more. 
Grilled Mushrooms:
Skewer whole mushroom onto metal skewer or well-soaked wooden sticks.  Place mushrooms on grill.  Turn about 90 degree in 3-4 minutes.   Repeat 2 more times. Remember - a bit charred for taste is fine, but highly charred food can be toxic.
Walnut Pesto Sauce
See recipe.
Place roasted or grilled mushrooms In a large bowl.   Add walnut pesto sauces and chickpeas. Toss until mushrooms are well coated.   Optional: Add 1/2 parmesan cheese. Toss again. Add the remaining parmesan cheese. Toss a third time.
FOR NUTRITION  information

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