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Vegan for the Holidays

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Vegetarians in Paradise
Birds Cooking on Top of Range

Here's a dish that has special appeal for mushroom lovers who can simply revel in mushroomland with this stand-out first course or light meal. Often shiitake mushrooms are referred to as wild mushrooms. During Easter and Passover celebrations this month, enjoy this easy-to-prepare dish with its tempting presentation and hearty flavors. It makes an ideal lunch or a light dinner.



1/2 lb. (226 g) dried shiitake mushrooms

6 medium tomatoes, cut in half crosswise
Extra virgin olive oil

1 -2 T. extra virgin olive oil

1 C. (237 ml) jicama, diced
1/2 C. (118 ml) sweet onion, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/4 C. (59 ml) cashew pieces, toasted
Juice of 1 - 1 1/2 limes
1 - 2 T. extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Sprigs of fresh parsley, dill, or cilantro


  1. Place shiitake mushrooms in a bowl and pour boiling water over them. Allow them to soak 30 to 40 minutes until softened. Cut off and discard tough stems. Chop or slice mushroom caps.
  2. Scoop out flesh and seeds from tomato halves. Set flesh aside for another use.
  3. Place tomatoes on a baking sheet and brush them with a little extra virgin olive oil. Put them under the broiler about 3" (7.5 cm) from heat source, and broil for about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Combine mushrooms and 1 or 2 T. olive oil in a large skillet or wok. Saute over high heat, stirring frequently, just until mushrooms are cooked, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove mushrooms to a medium-size mixing bowl.
  5. Add jicama, onion, bell pepper, cashews, lime juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper to bowl and toss well.
  6. For a presentation with a food stylist's touch, fill the broiled tomatoes with the warm mushroom mixture. Top each with a sprig of parsley, dill, or cilantro and serve each person 2 filled tomato cups. Be sure to serve with a knife and fork so everyone can enjoy the broiled tomato as well. Serves 6.

Chop NOTE: Here are some suggestions for other ways to enjoy a wild mushroom salad without the tomato cups:

  • Serve the salad as a warm side dish, making about 6 small servings.
  • Chill and serve as a salad over dressed shredded lettuce.
  • For Passover, serve the mushroom salad as an open face sandwich on matzoh.
  • Use as a filling for a tortilla wrap or sandwich.

For more information on preparing mushrooms and mushroom recipes, check On the Highest Perch and Recipe Index.

Click here for past cookingwithzel@home.comeonin recipes

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