Sunday, April 29, 2007

Mushrooms with Garlic

Adapted from Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan

Serves 6
I guess it's fair to say that if I could only have one cookbook, this would be it. I could eat out of it forever. These mushrooms are delicious and can be served hot, warm, or at room temperature, which makes them fabulous as part of an antipasto platter. I also love to serve them on top of a steaming bowl of Progresso Lentil Soup (not the low fat one, the original one) to which I have optionally stirred in a tablespoon or so of sour cream. This makes a great winter lunch with basic bruschetta (real garlic bread) and a tart green salad and a glass of minerally white wine.

To make this dish even more delicious and especially wine friendly, at the end of cooking add a very small glug of white truffle oil. Turn off the heat, and stir. The fragrance is divine, and it is yum.

1½ pounds white cultivated mushrooms
1½ teaspoons garlic, chopped
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons parsley, chopped

Clean mushrooms carefully with a paper towel. I don't wash them because they soak up too much water. If you like, you can slice off and discard a thin disk from the end of the mushroom stem, but I often don't bother to do this. Cut the mushrooms with the stems still attached lengthwise into 1/4 inch thick slices.

Use a frying pan that can hold the mushrooms without crowding. Add olive oil to the frying pan, and heat it to medium. Add the mushrooms, and turn the heat up a little. Cook, stirring occasionally, with a wooden spatula.

When the mushrooms have absorbed the oil, add salt, and turn the heat down to low. As soon as the mushrooms release their juices, turn the heat up a little again, and cook those juices away for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add the garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic turns golden, being careful not to burn it or it will be bitter. Add the chopped parsley, add salt to taste,* and stir. (*This is the point at which you might want to add a tiny glug of white truffle oil, just before you turn off the heat. It's tastes very earthy and smells divine.)

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