Mushrooms baked in vine leaves
A century-old recipe that has stood the test of time.
Leaves are sprouting on grape vines now, and it’s exciting to know that there are different ways to eat them than just stuffed with rice. I really enjoyed this recipe, where the vine leaves lend their lemony flavor to the mushrooms, and the mushrooms spread their goodness around to the oil. The only thing is, I can’t give you exact quantities. How many mushrooms and vine leaves will depend on the size of your baking dish.
I used 6 vine leaves and a small basketful of champignon mushrooms.
This recipe is taken from Elizabeth David’s Italian Food. Mrs. David herself borrowed it from Edmond Richardin’s L’Art du Bien Manger (1913). You’ll see that the recipe needs no adaptation; it’s as good today as it was 100 years ago.
- 6-8 fresh vine leaves to cover the bottom of the baking dish
- 1 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 cups small, whole button mushrooms (may use other varieties; larger ones will need to be thickly sliced)
- 2 teaspoons coarse salt
- 8 whole, unpeeled garlic cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 325° F (160° C).
Rinse and gently dry the mushrooms.
Slice the stems away, cutting them into chunks. Reserve them.
Line a casserole or baking dish with vine leaves. Pour enough olive oil to cover the leaves well.
Place the baking dish in the oven and let the vine leaves cook in the oil until they change color – about 5 minutes.
Sprinkle the mushrooms with coarse salt.
Now place the mushrooms, stem side up, on top of the vine leaves.
Bake for 30 minutes, uncovered.
Take the baking dish out and sprinkle the reserved, chopped mushroom stems over everything. Press them in with a wooden spoon.
Tuck the garlic cloves around the mushrooms.
Bake a further 10 minutes. Sprinkle with pepper, or grind some fresh pepper on, and serve right away. Spoon a little of the oil over each serving, and make sure to have fresh bread to mop it up.
Eat the vine leaves, too. They are addictively delicious.
Save the delicately flavored extra oil and juices for the next time, or for cooking something else, like a vegetable soup or a chicken dish.
Related Topics: Vegetarian