Aromatic Mushroom Salad

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Appears in

Food of the Sun: A Fresh Look at Mediterranean Cooking

Food of the Sun

By Alastair Little and Richard Whittington

Published 1995

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Even cultivated mushrooms can be given flavour and substance by marinating them. That being said, cultivated button mushrooms really have no discernible flavour unless - with eyes closed and great concentration - you may discern the faintest whiff of damp cellars. This recipe uses the large, flat-cap field mushrooms which are grilled to remove excess water before being marinated. This enhances the flavour and gives them a more substantial taste.


  • 450 g/1 lb field mushrooms
  • 2 lemons
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 150 ml/ΒΌ pt extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • sprig of thyme
  • 4 hot red chillies
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • large handful of flat-leaf parsley
  • salt



Start the day before you plan to serve: preheat the grill to high.

Wipe the mushrooms clean with a damp cloth, remove the stems and peel the caps. (Use the stalks and peelings in a stock or soup.) Zest and juice one of the lemons. Finely chop 3 of the garlic cloves.


Grill the mushrooms, caps down, until water exudes from the surface and fills the depression where the stalk joined the cap, about 5β€”6 minutes. Turn over and grill for a further minute. Remove, pat dry with paper towels and put on a glass or china serving dish.

Put the olive oil in a saucepan with the garlic, the zest and juice of 1 lemon, the bay leaves, thyme, chillies and peppercorns. Heat gently for 5 minutes at a bare simmer.

While still very hot, strain through a fine sieve over the mushrooms, discarding the aromatics. When cool, refrigerate overnight.


Just before serving: turn the mushrooms in the marinade and sprinkle with salt.

Zest the second lemon. Smash and chop the remaining garlic clove. Remove the stems from the parsley and chop the leaves. Mix with the garlic and lemon zest. Scatter over the mushroom salad.

If you do not wish to serve the day after making, the salad will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, but will then start to become rather slippery.

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