You can grow mushrooms indoors at home — and use them in these recipes

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We are able to grow our own food outdoors hereabouts by the seasons only. Indoors is another matter, although anything large-scale, of course, is the domain of commercial greenhouses and enclosed grow farms.

However, at home, in addition to a small herb garden in a south-facing window, you also might consider growing some of your own mushrooms to cook and eat. I did, and it was quite the treat.

Pink oyster mushrooms, left, and lion’s mane mushrooms, right, in full bloom from grow kits at home. (Bill St. John, Special to The Denver Post)

Buy a couple of kits online (prices are in the neighborhood of $30 apiece) and tend your fungi garden for a couple of weeks for two to three crops (“blooms,” they’re commonly called). You can see that doing so isn’t as cost-effective as simply buying a box of buttons from the grocery store, but it’s both a whole lot more fun than that and you can grow far more exotic sorts of ‘shrooms.

I fancied the two types of pink oyster mushrooms and lion’s mane mushrooms, of which I became particularly fond. Lion’s mane is both versatile in cooking and well-appreciated for its homeopathic benefits.

Here are two recipes, tested and tasted, using both homegrown lion’s mane and pink oyster mushrooms. In the ragout, you can use any number of either homegrown or store-bought fungi, so the recipe isn’t limited to merely mushrooms from your home farm.

Lion’s Mane Mushroom Crab Cakes

Adapted from aubreyskitchen.com. Lacto-ovo vegetarian; see note to prepare as vegan. Makes 6 cakes.

Ingredients

  • 3-4 cups lion’s mane mushrooms, shredded
  • 2 large eggs, lightly whipped
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup shallot, finely diced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay brand seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Lemon wedges, additional chopped flat-leaf parsley

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