Got Mushrooms? Cashew cream sauce with chanterelles, swiss chard and asparagus over spaghetti squash

I came home to find chanterelle mushrooms in the fridge. Chanterelles! They are golden looking, golden tasting, and golden priced. Typically priced at about $12-$14 per pound, they are an expensive mushroom. Their taste is delicate, but goes well with eggs and with cream. Since we had them, they had to be used – so I placed them into a cream sauce made from cashews, along with swiss chard and asparagus and served it over or mixed with spaghetti squash. What a heavenly meal.

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Chanterelles are a beautiful mushroom but other mushrooms – white button, crimini, oyster – could be used as well. Chanterelles are big and yellow with a huge stem – while you can just use the head, I tend to use the whole mushroom. Stems can be tougher than the soft head on some mushrooms – like Shiitake, but I do not find that to be the case with these golden beauties.

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(Wikipedia photo)

To make the sauce,  cashews soaked overnight in water and drained were placed into a food processor and pureed with lemon juice, garlic and nutritional yeast until they were creamy and smooth with absolutely no texture. I added salt and pepper to taste.

The cream was set aside. In a large pot, I sauteed diced onion until it was translucent and then added in the sliced mushrooms and sauteed for 5-8 minutes until it was fragrant and the oils were released (gives the sauce a robust flavor). I then tossed in the chopped swiss chard and asparagus. I added some coconut vinegar (red wine vinegar or white wine vinegar work too) to cut through the fat before adding the cashew cream. I let it simmer over low heat for a few minutes stirring frequently.

Since the sauce is so rich, rather than use pasta I decided to serve it over spaghetti squash. You can also use zoodles (zuchhini noddles) but I like the thin pasta for this dish which is chunky through the veg. To cook the spaghetti squash, I cut it in half, remove the seeds, and place it face down in a baking dish with some water – this steams it.

I cooked it at 375 degrees for 35-45 minutes until tender enough to run a butter knife through it. To make the “spaghetti”, simply rake a fork back and forth – the “noodles” simply lift up. They are firm and make a great substitute for pasta.

I  served it two ways – one with the sauce on top and another with the squash folded  into the sauce.

Happy eating!

Chanterelle, Swiss Chard, Asparagus Cashew Cream Sauce

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1/2 cup cashews soaked overnight and drained
  • 2 Tbs vegetable stock or water
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled
  • 2 Tbs nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 5-7 chanterelle mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 1/2 bunch Swiss Chard (5-7 leaves), stems removed and chopped
  • 1/2 bunch of asparagus (about 10-12 stalks), bottoms chopped off and roughly chopped
  •  2 tablespoons coconut vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Cut spaghetti squash in half and remove seeds. Place cut sides down in a baking dish and add 1/3 cup of water. Cook for 35-45 min until tender.  Let cool. Rake a fork back and forth in the flesh to remove as strands – noodles. Set aside.

Meanwhile, place drained cashews, vegetable stock, garlic, nutritional yeast, lemon juice and puree until smooth without any chunks. Add additional liquid as needed. Add salt and pepper to taste and set aside.

Add the oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and light golden, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until aromatic and oils come out – about 5-8 minutes. Add the swiss chard and asparagus and sautee for 3-5 minutes until asparagus is tender and chard is cooked down.  Add vinegar and cook down. Add the cashew cream stirring frequently for 2-3 minutes or so over low heat. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Add the squash noodles to the sauce, toss to combine and rewarm and reduce the sauce as needed. Or spoon sauce over noodles.

 

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