Stellar Side

May 24, 2010

Recently, I have been thinking about side dishes.  Sometimes I feel like vegetarians get gypped in this category.  If you have a protein as the focus of your plate, sides make sense.  If you don’t – if your plate is vegetable heavy – why would you have a vegetable side dish?

Here is where it fun to be a cook.  You can make your own rules.  Last night I made a spring vegetable risotto for dinner.  I also made a salad but I wanted another component to the meal.  I like variety and although I had some lovely green vegetables studding my arborio rice(asparagus!, snap peas!, English peas!), I wanted something else.  Enter these mushrooms.  I have been making these fungi for years.  I think I originally found the recipe on Epicurious but have long since stopped using the recipe and just do it by taste.

The concept is simple.  You brown a bit of garlic in some olive oil – just to flavor the oil.  The garlic itself gets discarded.  Once the oil is flavorful and hot, in go whole mushrooms.  They sear a bit and give off their liquid, then a quick pour of white wine goes in the pan.  Once that goodness evaporates, you season the mushrooms, give them a sprinkling of fresh parsley and dig in.  No matter how many I make, we eat all of them.  Last night it was a full pound.  When I make them for company, I make three pounds and haul out my biggest skillet.  There are never leftovers.  Which is kind of a bummer, really.

One Year Ago:  Tofu and Cucumber Salad and Individual Vegetable Tarts

Mushrooms with White Wine
Dana Treat Original
Serves 2-4

Usually I rinse my mushrooms to clean them, but here you will want them as dry as possible.  Use a damp paper towel to wipe them off.  Either button or cremini mushrooms will work great here.

Olive oil
1 large garlic clove, smashed and peeled
1 pound mushrooms, wiped clean and stems trimmed
¼ cup dry white wine
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add just enough olive oil to coat the bottom.  Add the garlic and sauté, stirring often, until garlic just starts to turn brown, about 3 minutes.  Do not allow garlic to burn.  Discard garlic.

Add mushrooms to hot oil.  Give them a good toss, then allow them to sit undisturbed so they can sear a bit.  After about 4 minutes, turn each mushroom over so that the other side can sear.  Once the pan is very dry and the mushrooms are nice and brown, pour in the wine.  (If the mushrooms give off a lot of liquid during this process, allow that liquid to evaporate before adding the wine.)  Cook, stirring frequently, until the wine evaporates.  Turn off the heat and stir in the parsley and salt and pepper to taste.


  1. The less-fancy dishes are always the best ones. Think of all the things you could do with these! Amazing on their own or chopped up on top of flatbread or crostini with a little bit of goat cheese…mmmm.

    Comment by Maris (In Good Taste) — May 24, 2010 @ 3:41 pm

  2. These look great! Definitely going to give them a try. Even though I’m not a vegetarian, I still struggle with sides. It’s great to find new ideas. Salad and steamed veggies get really old, really fast!

    Comment by Katie @ goodLife {eats} — May 24, 2010 @ 3:43 pm

  3. Those mushrooms look fantastic! I learned to cook mushrooms years ago when I worked in a steakhouse by sauteeing them in lemon and butter, which I still love, but it does get a little old and your recipe sounds delightful!

    Mushrooms are such a simple food. It’s easy to forget just how good they can be.

    Comment by Anita — May 24, 2010 @ 3:43 pm

  4. Whenever I go out to eat, I tend to choose my main course based on the sides it comes with. Ironic because I rarely make extravagant ones myself. Usually I just roast some veggies and call it a day. These mushrooms look delicious though. Definitely worth the effort. And perfect side for risotto!

    Comment by Joanne — May 24, 2010 @ 5:53 pm

  5. First time in your site. You have a beautiful template and love your space here. I love shrooms at any time. It’s an comfort food.

    Comment by Shriya — May 24, 2010 @ 8:41 pm

  6. Oh how I wish you had posted a few days ago! I just made the Cooks Illustrated Spring Vegetable Risotto for friends on Friday night and just served a salad to go with. This would have been an awesome addition! You are so right that vegetarians get left out in the side dish department. If I’m cooking, I’m usually fine with that, as I don’t really have it in me to do anything extra most of the time. But I do love mushrooms, and these look so simple and easy to make. I will be making these soon! Thanks for the ideas.

    Comment by Mara — May 24, 2010 @ 8:57 pm

  7. Stellar indeed! I love how simple and delicious this looks!

    Comment by Veggie Belly — May 25, 2010 @ 1:08 am

  8. oh mushrooms are like perfect little sponges aren’t they? for soaking up all that wine goodness.

    Comment by vanillasugar — May 25, 2010 @ 1:17 am

  9. Saw your comment re: lemongrass tofu on Fresh 365! I giggled because I was inspired to make it after visiting Tamarind Tree in Seattle- perhaps the good Vietnamese restaurant to which you were referring?

    A small world!!

    Comment by Molly — May 25, 2010 @ 2:25 am

  10. This would be my favourite side dish. I would choose mushrooms every time :)

    Comment by Jacqueline — May 25, 2010 @ 10:00 pm

  11. I love what you wrote about being a cook and making your own rules. Cooking becomes much easier and more fun if you keep that approach.
    BTW, I can smell the wine/garlic/parsley from your mushrooms all the way through my screen, it’s a divine combination. And that enormous chocolate cake you posted earlier, well don’t get me started on that… mama mia!

    Comment by David — May 25, 2010 @ 11:18 pm

  12. I loooove sauteed mushrooms. Especially when you add a bit of wine. I can see why you make such a large amount of these when company comes over!

    Comment by Ashley — June 2, 2010 @ 2:53 pm

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