growing up, i was white blond and pale. i played with legos and wore black leggings everywhere and i was always the vegetable eater. my parents, ever dutiful, always tried to coax me into eating meat. "three more big bites," my dad would say as I begged for seconds of carrots or peas or begged to leave the table. i hated almost every form of meat and loved every vegetable.
especially mushrooms. earthy and complex, i loved every aspect of their bulbous, soft shapes. the fact that they grow wild in the earth still fascinates me - that farmers and their pigs go out to nose out the particularly honored truffles. morels and chanterelles and woodear and even here, the humble cremini.
i learned this recipe, which i've now modified, from my time at culinary school. it's heavily italian and vinegared, rich and acidic and perfect to cut through a heavy meal. it's quick and simple to toss together for a summer meal.
1 lb cremini mushrooms, cleaned and diced
1/4 cup minced parsley
1/4 cup diced sundried tomatoes
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp aleppo pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1 oz red wine vinegar
1 oz olive oil
1 oz canola oil
salt and pepper
heat canola oil in a large sautepan. add mushrooms and cook until slightly softened and fully cooked through, about 4-5 minutes. add sundried tomatoes, aleppo, and red pepper flakes. add garlic, cook 30 seconds or until fragrant. remove from heat.
in a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, olive oil, and salt and pepper. toss with mushrooms and sprinkle with parsley. serve.