Seasons 52 menu: Mushrooms are falls healthy and savory flavor

Seasons 52 Chef Daniel Hartman creates favorite fall flavors with a healthful twist that relies on the aromatic umami of cremini, shiitake and oyster mushrooms

Three mushroom flatbread at Seasons 52 Rockville, Maryland

ROCKVILLE, Maryland, October 22, 2016 – Seasons 52, as its name implies, treats diners to the best of the season – those foods being found now at the farmers market or from the rancher. The result is a meal that not only tastes good, it tastes right – for right now.

Fall inspired plates at Seasons 52 are filled with savory flavors, cold weather vegetables and herbs offering a parade of aromatics that immediately chase the chill from the air.  Mushrooms take center stage on a menu that has been designed to inspire warmth, without being heavy, despite creamy flavors and rich, earthy aromas,

Good Now is a creamy butternut squash soup, filled with a goodness that covers the tongue, hitting on all your taste receptors.. The heat of the soup releases the earthiness of the sliced shiitake mushroom. The soup retains a creamy texture, which at around 200 calories per serving, does not come from heavy creams or butter, making it warming but not heavy. Comforting like a soft down cover, instead of a heavy woolen blanket.


Butternut squash soup that is Good Now and on the Seasons 52 fall menu
Butternut squash soup that is Good Now and on the Seasons 52 fall menu

Pair the soup with a Trio of Roasted Mushrooms flatbread that is crunchy and savory and filled with the gentle warmth of the bright fall sun.  Using one of the earth’s greatest food gifts, cremini, oyster, and shiitake mushrooms, the Seasons 52 menu is filled with dishes designed to stimulate our fifth taste sense, in addition to sweet, sour, salt, and bitter, called umami.

Hearty meat-like mushrooms are an economical and nutritious way to enhance any meal. Mushrooms are low in calories with one cup equaling a mere 20 calories, but they provide the meaty and fulfilling flavors that round out a meal – particularly when the meals are designed to warm and satisfy.

High in vitamins and minerals, mushrooms are source of potassium, and can also, depending on the variety used, provide earthy minerals, the powerful anti-oxidant selenium and copper, particularly found in shiitake.

Our friendly fungi also offer three B-complex vitamins: riboflavin, niacin and pantothenic acid, which help release energy from the fat, protein and carbohydrates in food.

Even with all their flavors, the best of mushrooms is what they provide when it comes to creating healthful plates. Mushrooms, unlike most vegetables, release their nutrients when heated.

A dish like the Seasons 52 Mushroom Trio flatbread takes advantage of the salivating smell slightly sautéed mushroom that are tossed with green onions, goat cheese and lightly dusted with falls favorite flavor – truffle oil.

A tall glass of Raspberry lemonade made with sparkling water, muddled raspberries and garnished with fresh mint reminds us that summer is not that far behind us.

Artisan Cheese Fondue combines cave-aged Gruyére and white cheddar, served with an assortment of crisp breads and soft rolls, perfect from dipping. The smell of crisp fried sage announces savory pillows of Kabocha Squash Ravioli, gently tossed with cubes of butternut squash, crunchy walnuts and browned butter.


Saged Kabocha Squash Ravioli at Seasons 52, Rockville, MD
Saged Kabocha Squash Ravioli at Seasons 52, Rockville, MD

While the hot days of summer has us craving fresh fruits and salads, the shorten days and cool winds of the winter months means our foods need to be filled with plenty of the Omega-3s, B vitamins, iron and zinc our bodies need. But our desire to eat healthy, means finding ways to create savory meals without the deluge of fats found in butter, creams and starchy vegetables.

Available only through November, Season 52 offers a generous shank of Australian lamb, naturally grazed in Tasmania, located in Southern Australia. The generous portion of meat is marinated and braised in Mediterranean herb and tomato gravy creating a rich, layered entrée that is served with Yukon gold mashed potatoes and crisply braised greens, including Brussels sprouts and late fall green beans.


Australian Lamb Shank at Seasons 52 Rockville, MD
Australian Lamb Shank at Seasons 52 Rockville, MD


Fall is the time to try new things and Seasons 52 Roasted Manchester Farms Heirloom Quail from Columbia, SC is worth the care one must take over those “little bones”, which are really perfect for nibbling. Despite the environment, compliment the chef and pick them up with your fingers and savor completely.

Chef Daniel Hartman at Seasons 52 Rockville, MD
Chef Daniel Hartman at Seasons 52 Rockville, MD

Like the heritage lamb, quail is one of those proteins that far surpass more common counterparts – chicken, duck or turkey. Quail meat is rich in micronutrients and a wide range of vitamins including the B complex, folate and vitamin E and K. It is therefore recommended for people with high cholesterol levels and those who want to maintain a low level of cholesterol.

Quail is one of those dishes best left to the professionals as every step, from the sourcing of the bird to the preparation, the utmost of care, though the kitchen chef can create a perfect dish due to the rich, moist flavor of the meat.

But it takes understanding  the demands of the smaller fowl so do your homework.  It is not just a little chicken.

Seasons 52 roasted quail is very moist, with sweet meet and savory fall flavors thanks to the mushroom risotto stuffing piped in prior to roasting.

Chef Daniel Hartman serves his roasted quail over a mélange of leaf spinach, well rinsed and braised in a balsamic demi-glace, with crisp bacon and layers of fresh pearl onion.


Quail at Seasons 52 Rockville, MD
Quail at Seasons 52 Rockville, MD

A side for the table that works with both dishes is the Truffle Mac ‘N’ Cheese en Brodó. Chef Hartman explains that en Brodó means that equal amounts of cheese and stock are placed in a sealed bag, and submerged into boiling water.

The cheese curds separate allowing the creamy flavors to a rich hearty stock that becomes the base of the recipe. Straining the stock liquid from the curds, the curds are set to the side to be tossed with panko and baked to create the Mac ‘N’ Cheese crumbly topping.

The noodles are then cooked in the liquid which is reserved after draining. The stock now has the starch from the pasta and when with a cauliflower puree easily created with cooked cauliflower flowers, stems removed, processed with butter, cream, salt and pepper, to make the creaminess we want.  The result is flavor, and more flavor, but without the heavy, creamy cheese we associate with Mac ‘N’ Cheese.

Instead we have a light noodle dish, savory with truffle zest and an extra serving of vegetables.


Mac 'N' Cheese at Seasons 52 Rockville, MD
Mac ‘N’ Cheese at Seasons 52 Rockville, MD

Dinner at Season 52 is never complete without a flight of their mini desserts. Celebrating the season they add a delicious spiced pumpkin mousse with fresh cream and a dark crisp ginger snap that begs for milk, or coffee.


Desert at Seasons 52 Rockville, MD
Desert at Seasons 52 Rockville, MD

Also offered are the Chocolate S’Mores, Pecan Pie, Peanut and Raspberry Crème Brûlée.

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