Thursday, September 11, 2008

Mario Batali gives mushrooms his endorsement


"Time grows increasingly precious as Americans enter the fall season with packed schedules, shorter days and less time to make dinner.

Rejuvenate the family with easy dishes made with mushrooms that add essential nutrients and the elusive fifth flavor, umami.

Chefs like Mario Batali, an award-winning celebrity chef, restaurateur and author, have long known about umami, which means “savory deliciousness” in Japanese. Batali credits mushrooms as one of his hidden treasures when it comes to umami.

“Mushrooms add a burst of rich, savory flavor that makes food taste good from the first bite to the last. Whether I’m cooking at home or the restaurant, mushrooms give that ‘something special’ quality to any dish.”

In Batali’s new book, “Italian Grill,” he showcases Portabellas with Arugula and Parmigiano, which combines Mario’s love of mushrooms and grilling into a unique and scrumptious entrĂ©e.

Not only are mushrooms a delicious choice for family meals, they’re part of a healthy diet. According to the Journal of the American Heart Association, only 10 percent of Americans have optimal blood levels of vitamin D, which is especially alarming as sunlight becomes less available in the fall and winter. Mushrooms are the only fresh vegetable or fruit with 4 percent of the daily value of vitamin D per serving and may be a natural solution for getting more of this important “sunshine vitamin.”

For Mario Batali's Delicious Recipes visit the Northwest Herald.