Roast mushrooms steal the spotlight in a vegetarian spin on stroganoff
Resilient and reliable as they are, mushrooms rarely win my dollars at the farmers market. They’re usually relegated to side dishes, which makes them easy for me to overlook.
But mushrooms deserve better than playing a supporting role. To make them the star of a meal, I thought about a dish that brilliantly showcases mushrooms — beef stroganoff — and then did away with the meat. The mushrooms are the best part, anyway: caramelized, bolstered by shallots and garlic, covered in cream sauce.
First, I roast a variety of large chunks — king oysters and chanterelles if they’re available — with olive oil and thyme until they’re deep golden on the bottom and their edges have singed to a crisp.
Then, to amp up their flavor, I take rehydrated dried porcini mushrooms and use them two ways: as a cold, pickled relish to spoon over the hot roasted mushrooms, and in the stroganoff’s distinctive bechamel sauce — their soaking liquid adds depth to the cream.
It’s a recipe that puts mushrooms center stage, where I think they rightfully belong.
Roasted Mushroom Stroganoff
1 hour 10 minutes. Serves 4 to 6.
The amount of oil here may seem like a lot, but it’s necessary to crisp and brown the mushrooms. And don’t worry, most of the oil will come out of the mushrooms once they’re done and you easily can leave it on the baking sheet. I love King oysters and chanterelles for their beauty and taste, but they’re not cheap — use the best mushrooms you can afford and know that good ol’ buttons will be tasty too.
- 1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
- 3 pounds fresh mixed mushrooms, such as King oyster, maitake, chanterelle and regular oyster, trimmed and torn into 2- to 3-inch pieces (see note below)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 4 sprigs thyme, plus more
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 small shallots, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- A pinch of granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 small garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup sour cream
1. Place the dried mushrooms in a large bowl and cover with 1 1/2 cups boiling water. Let the mushrooms steep until rehydrated, at least 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the fresh mushrooms, arranged by type, on a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil, add the thyme and season with salt and pepper. Toss the mushrooms to evenly coat with the seasonings, then spread out in an even layer. Roast the mushrooms, undisturbed, until deep golden brown where they touch the pan and tender and crisp at their edges, 35 to 40 minutes.
3. Use a slotted spoon to lift out the porcinis and transfer them to a cutting board. Finely chop the mushrooms, then transfer to a small bowl. Add half of the shallots, then stir in the vinegar and sugar until dissolved; refrigerate the pickled mushrooms until ready to use. Slowly pour 1 cup of the soaking liquid into a small bowl; discard the rest along with any sediment in the bottom of the bowl.
4. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the remaining shallots and the garlic and cook, stirring, until soft, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour and stir constantly for 30 seconds to cook off the raw taste. While whisking, pour in the reserved mushroom soaking liquid and heavy cream and bring to a boil. Continue cooking until thickened, about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat, let cool for 10 minutes, then whisk in the sour cream and season with salt and pepper.
5. Once the mushrooms come out of the oven, spoon the cream sauce on the bottom of a serving platter and rearrange the mushrooms by type on top. Dollop small spoonfuls of the pickled mushrooms over the roasted mushrooms and sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves before serving.
Most mushrooms we buy in grocery stores today are cultivated and don’t need much work to prep them for recipes. But for foraged or wild mushrooms you get at the farmers market, you’ll want to first wipe any dirt from them with a dry paper towel; don’t be too precious about it unless you’re cooking for company. Then, in varieties like cremini or king oyster mushrooms, you want to trim off 1/4 inch from the end of the stalk. If you’re working with mushrooms like maitakes or smaller chanterelles, which grow in bunches, simply trim off the section that holds the stalks together so the mushroom petals are separate. This step essentially gets rid of any woody parts of the mushrooms, since they’d take longer to cook and are unpleasant to chew.
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