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.
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.
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.