Sautéed Giant Puffball Dice with Dill and Tomato

Preparation info

  • Serves


    as a side dish
    • Difficulty


Appears in

Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini

By Elizabeth Schneider

Published 2001

  • About

Large puffball dice seasoned with garlic-lemon oil and gilded in a dry pan wind up looking more like fried mozzarella than mushrooms. The puffy pieces are tossed with tomato dice and dill for a touch of moisture, color, and herbal freshness.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large garlic clove, halved
  • 2 strips lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 1-pound giant puffball
  • 1 pound ripe tomatoes
  • Pepper
  • About 3 tablespoons minced dill


    1. Combine oil, garlic, and zest in small microwavable dish. Cover with paper towel and heat on low power until very fragrant, about 2 minutes. (Alternatively, heat over lowest heat in tiny pan on stovetop.) Dissolve ¼ teaspoon salt in vinegar and add to oil.
    2. Rinse puffball and rub off soil. Trim base and pat dry. Halve with very sharp knife. With cut side down, cut into 1-inch slices, then into cubes. Place in a very large bowl.
    3. Strain oil, reserving solids. Gradually add oil to puffball, tossing constantly to coat well. Mince 1 teaspoon reserved garlic (or more to taste) and ¼ teaspoon lemon zest.
    4. Peel tomatoes (see Note). Halve and squeeze out seeds. Cut into ½-inch pieces. Toss with remaining ¼ teaspoon salt in sieve; let drain. Set a large serving dish in oven. Turn heat to lowest setting.
    5. Heat large non-stick skillet over moderately high heat. Add half the puffball dice and cook, tossing, until nicely browned and creamy inside, about 6 minutes; reduce heat if cubes brown too quickly. Transfer to dish in oven. Repeat browning with remaining puffball. Add to dish in oven.
    6. Add minced garlic, lemon zest, and tomatoes to pan and cook just to soften slightly and get juices bubbling, about 2 minutes. Scoop onto puffballs, add dill, and toss to distribute evenly. Serve hot.