Seasoned Shopper – August 2023


Fabuluos Fungi

    Calling mushrooms a fungus, which they are, might cause negative connotations, but wait until you see them at the Orinda Farmers’ Market. Not always known for their flair, mushrooms are actually in the vegetable food group.
    Mushrooms, not as colorful as carrots, tomatoes or squash, are considered a superfood, rich in vitamins and minerals. How can we pass up something so delicious and easy to include with so many meals like omelets, stir-fries, soups and pasta dishes?
    Rochelle Knoester, from Fungi Temple, is a new vendor to the Orinda Farmers’ Market. Her display of mushrooms is simple and so intriguing. Each variety keeps well, refrigerated in a paper bag, for 7 to 10 days. All mushrooms are very absorbent, so instead of washing, brush off any bits of dirt with a pastry brush or rub gently with a paper towel before preparing.
    One of their most popular mushrooms is Lion’s Mane. As the name implies, this large, white shaggy mushroom resembles its namesake. Shoppers rave about its mild shellfish-like flavor and use it as a substitute in lobster rolls and crab cakes.
    Shiitake mushrooms have large, 2 to 4-inch caps and vary from light to dark brown with a pale cream underside. They are prized for their rich, earthy flavor and meaty taste. Want to add a peppery note? Try the Maitake, or Hen of the Woods.
    Blue Oyster mushrooms grow in large clusters with a flat, shelf-like shape and long thick stems. When cooked, they soften and develop a tender, velvety texture.

Sauteed Lion’s Mane by Rochelle Knoester
    8 ounces Lion’s Mane, cut into 1-inch slices
    1 tablespoon each: butter and olive oil
    2 tablespoons soy sauce (or coconut aminos)
    1 teaspoon chopped garlic
    1 teaspoon each: chopped shallots and parsley (optional)

    Heat butter and oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and brown on both sides, about 3 to 4 minutes. Let caramelize on one side before flipping over. Press down with the back of the spatula. Add soy sauce, garlic and shallots. Sauté for 1 to 2 minutes, until garlic and shallots become fragrant. Garnish with parsley. Serve as a side dish with scrambled eggs or simply on a piece of toast. Serves 4.
    The Orinda Farmers’ Market is open every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Orinda Way in Orinda Village. Visit,, Instagram at OrindaFarmersMarket or call 925.322.6228.

Barbara Kobsar can be reached at

(Barbara Kobsar, Photographer)
Rochelle Knoester sells a variety of exotic mushrooms, perfect choices for vegetarian meals.

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