Autumn Mushroom Flatbread
Immune Supportive Foods + Herbs
This rustic medicinal mushroom flatbread is one of my favorite autumnal dishes. Though many of these mushrooms are grown year-round, fall is the time of year that mushrooms grow in the wild, and there are often more varieties available at your local farmer's markets and gourmet grocery stores. Mushrooms thrive in the cool, damp days of fall and grow in the most magical places throughout the forests and hills in our area, and many others as well. Of course, I do not recommend foraging for your own mushrooms and strongly suggest purchasing them from a trusted source or local grower. One of my favorite local mushroom growers is Top Cap Mushrooms, located in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Mushrooms are high in both vitamin d and polysaccharides, both of which are thought to be supportive of our immune systems. The mushrooms I've listed in this recipe are all commonly used in herbalism to help support the immune system, and have traditoinally been used as a healing and medicinal foods. Their grounding nature and moistening energetics make them a perfect addition to our seasonal menu, highlighting foods from the earth that are both seasonally relevant and supportive to our body's needs during this time of year. Paired with the antimicrobial and respiratory loving properties of thyme, the sulfur-rich ingredients such as onions, garlic, and leeks, and the carminative nature of both tarragon and fennel, and you have yourself a perfect autumnal blend of nourishing and flavorful foods.
2 cups blended mushrooms, sliced (shitake, maitake, oyster, etc.)
1-2 shallots, sliced
1 leek, sliced
5 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 sprigs fresh thyme and/or tarragon, chopped
2-3 Tbl butter or Avocado Oil
Salt and Pepper To Taste
Optional: 1/2-1 bulb Fennel, thinly sliced
1 Dough Recipe (No-Knead Bon Appetite)
Possible Toppings: frisée tossed in olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper; freshly grated parmesan cheese (preferably a reggiano)
If using the dough recipe above, you'll need to start that 24 hours before you plan to bake the flatbread. I recommend leveling up the yeast in this recipe and using something such as SAF, which you can get locally in bulk at Harvest House.
Get your ingredients mise en place and heat ½ the oil or butter over medium heat in a cast-iron skillet. You'll want to be sure to use a large enough skillet as to not crowd the mushrooms; when they are crowded they wilt/steam and do not brown. Add leeks and saute for 1-2 minutes. Add a splash more oil and 1/2 the mushrooms to the pan, sauteeing until wilting. Add additional oil and the rest of the mushrooms (and fennel if using). Continue to saute until the mushrooms begin to brown (can increase heat to med-high). Reduce heat back to medium/med-low and add the herbs, garlic, and shallots and cook for another minute. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set mushroom mixture aside.
Prepare flatbread in the oven following the directions provided in the recipe you're using and remove when done. I will often drizzle fresh olive oil on the top of the flatbread before baking and sprinkle with salt and fresh-cracked pepper. Once flatbread is out of the oven add the mushroom mixture evenly on top. If you're using the frisée salad add to the top of mushrooms (scantily) and finish with freshly grated parmesan cheese. You can also serve the frisée salad on the side.
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Nzeako, B. C., et al. (2006). "Antimicrobial activities of clove and thyme extracts." Sultan Qaboos Univ Med J 6(1): 33-39.
Sakkas, H. and C. Papadopoulou (2017). "Antimicrobial Activity of Basil, Oregano, and Thyme Essential Oils." J Microbiol Biotechnol 27(3): 429-438.
Guggenheim, A. G., et al. (2014). "Immune Modulation From Five Major Mushrooms: Application to Integrative Oncology." Integr Med (Encinitas) 13(1): 32-44.
Note: The information is for educational, historical, and research purposes, and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information on this site should not be used as medical advice. If you have a medical concern please seek out a qualified health care professional, and always consult your physician before adding herbal supplements into your diet, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, or on medication. Do not consume alcohol if you are under the age of 21 years old.