Our favorite thing about the Plant Chicago farmers market is all of our wonderful local vendors! This month, we are launching a monthly blog series to introduce you to our farmers market vendors. Be sure to read on below to learn about this month’s featured vendor, Fruiting Mushrooms, and get some delicious mushroom recipes that you can cook up after visiting our next farmers market!
Farmer Belkacem El Metennani, founder and owner of Fruiting Mushrooms, is working hard to grow fresh, gourmet mushrooms at The Plant.
While volunteering with Plant Chicago, Bel took an interest in mushroom cultivation, and soon learned about the mushroom growing process. Within a few months, Bel began renting an old ham freezer in the basement of The Plant and launched his very own mushroom business. Coming from a successful career in the restaurant business, Bel understands the value of fresh, local food.
Closing the Loop:
At The Plant, Fruiting Mushrooms embodies the closed loop model by turning the waste products from agriculture, brewing, and coffee brewing into growing medium for delicious mushrooms. Bel’s business also gives Chicago-area residents rare access to locally grown, gourmet mushrooms. In doing so, he cuts down on fossil fuel use and food waste from transportation, refrigeration, and storage of mushrooms.
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 c Onion, minced
1 small clove garlic -minced
2 lbs. Lion’s Mane mushroom cleaned and sliced
splash of white wine
1 oz chicken or veggie stock
1 Tbsp butter
1 spring onion – sliced
1/4 cup parsley- minced
Season with salt, pepper, lemon juice
Heat saute pan over medium heat and add the oil.
Saute the onions and garlic until translucent.
Add the sliced mushroom, and allow to sear on both sides.
Lower heat and cook until mushrooms are soft and beginning to caramelize.
Add a splash of white wine and increase heat to medium. Reduce the wine, add the stock and allow to absorb. Remove from heat, add scallion and parsley and swirl in a knob of butter.
Season with salt & pepper, and lemon juice to taste.
Serve as a side dish, or make it a meal with pasta, crepes, quesadillas, or enchiladas!