Beloved by chefs and growers alike, pink oyster mushrooms are making their way mainstream with mushroom grow kits. An antioxidant powerhouse, pink oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus djamor) pack a lot of heart health benefits into cute shroom. They’re also full of vitamins like folate (vitamin B-9) that are crucial for red blood cell formation and cell growth, and research has shown that consuming pink oyster mushrooms can lead to healthy cholesterol levels, which ultimately lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Pink oysters taste eerily similar to bacon or ham and share the same meaty, thick texture. Their zing of umami is welcome to most dishes, but don’t be discouraged if they lose their namesake color. After cooking, these shrooms look like any ol’ baby bellas in your pot.
This is my loose recipe for a hearty casserole that’s perfect for cold, blustery weather. Add or edit this recipe as you see fit, it’s a foundational start to any casserole with mushrooms added.
Omit the bacon and cheese, and as for that heavy cream… I don’t love coconut cream for this recipe, but you need something heavier than non-dairy milk to thicken it up. My best advice is to make your own. For 1 cup of vegan heavy cream, combine ⅔ cup non-dairy milk with ⅓ cup of oil or melted vegan butter. Use a whisk or immersion blender; it won’t whip into peaks so you can’t overmix it. Or try it with 1 cup of coconut cream, you may love it!
Pick any culinary mushroom, but those with an intense umami flavor are best, like shiitake. I’m obsessed with Wisconsin extra sharp white cheddar cheese and use that when I’m feeling fancy. Gruyère is incredible, too.
Pink oysters are a brilliant variety to grow at home because they reach maturity in about three weeks. They’re not easy to find on grocery shelves, so if you find yourself craving the taste, they’re a first-choice mushroom for those looking to try a hand at growing. I’m a big fan of North Spore’s grow kits for beginners.