Bohemian Mushrooms make a stylish side dish served over soft, fresh greens or you can mound on top of toast for a light lunch.
This recipe, like “Bohemian Rhapsody” is a quirky classic, but possibly not what Queen had in mind. It’s a vegan riff on paprikash. Easy, yet opulent, this dish an homage to my Bohemian/Romanian/Hungarian ancestors, relying on the spice they prize above all others — paprika.
Paprika has awakened in me an interest in the land my ancestors fled. The Balkan romance languages are opaque to me, and their history dark, but the cuisine I’ve begun to appreciate. With its eastern and western influences, Bohemian cuisine can be fusiony, owing as much to Turkey as it does Austro-Hungary. And what pulls it all together is paprika.
Vibrant and vermillion, paprika should announce itself as soon as you open a jar, like a genie out of a bottle. Paprika not only adds sweetness and depth of flavor, it imparts a rosy hue and silky finish. Use with lavishly, but lovingly. Paprika blooms in hot broth or other liquid, but can scorch when subjected directly to dry heat.
Mushrooms, with their meaty texture and richness, are a natural substitute for the traditional chicken or pork. Besides, the Czech and Hungarians love their fungi, and so do I.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- pinch red pepper flakes optional
- 1 pound mushrooms cremini or white button mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced
- 1 small tomato chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 tablespoon sweet paprika*
- 1 teaspoon caraway seed
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1 tablespoon fresh dill chopped
- sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- juice of 1 lemon
- additional chopped dill
- chopped cilantro
- a dollop of plain unsweetened vegan yogurt like Kite Hill. Bonus points for homemade vegan yogurt optional
- In a skillet, preferably cast iron, heat oil over medium-high heat. When it starts to shimmer, add minced garlic and optional red pepper flakes. Give them a stir and let them dance around for a minute, releasing their fragrance. When garlic starts to soften and turn golden, add the mushrooms.
- Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms darken, shrink and start to release their liquid, creating their own broth— about 8 to 10 minutes. Add chopped tomatoes, paprika, which blooms in hot liquid, caraway and coriander.
- Cook for another 5 minutes or so, letting flavors meld and the sauce thicken and reduce. Just before serving, scatter in the chopped dill and stir in in lemon juice. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper.
If You Love Bohemian Mushrooms You May Enjoy:
- Vegan Cat Head Biscuits with Spinach and Mushroom Gravy (and no Cats)
- Sherried Mushroom Pilaf
- Mushroom Risotto
- Exotic Mushroom Toast
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