When I’m looking for an exceptional mushroom dish, I always go to Baked Mushrooms. It’s not the normal way to prepare the fame fungi. Yes, mushrooms are an organism belonging to the fungi kingdom. That being said, my favorite recipe for baked mushroom is the French classic: Champignons au Four. It is simply a mix of mushrooms, salt pork (also known as fatback), parsley and scallions. Let me add that, if you’re not partial to salt pork, you can always substitute bacon but, it will not render the same flavor or texture. Proceed as you think best. Our usual accompaniment to this dish is plain boiled rice; but you can serve it with your preferred grain or even pasta. This time around we paired it with couscous, and it was marvelous.
As to the mushrooms, the recipe calls for small white mushrooms. We tried it with small Portobello, and it came out just as good. Keep in mind it has to be small, whole mushroom. If you want to use large mushroom, sliced or cut up, you’re welcomed to try. if you want to experiment, go right ahead.
I’ve had this recipe for years hidden away in one of my desk drawers. How I got it, I can’t recall. It does serve its purpose when I want an out of the ordinary mushroom dish. It makes for a great vegetarian meal that everyone, vegetarian or not, will love.
1 pound small mushrooms, washed and patted dry with paper towels
¼ pound salt pork, rinsed, diced, blanched in boiling water for 5 minters and drained
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Pinch of ground nutmeg
8 sprigs parsley, main stems removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
- Preheat oven to 350 Degree F.
- Mix the mushrooms, salt pork, butter, chopped parsley, scallions, salt and pepper together. Put the mixture into an ovenproof dish (we prefer cast iron). Place in oven and cook for 30 to 40 minutes or until mushrooms, salt pork and scallions are lightly browned.
- Just before serving, fry the parsley sprigs in the oil and use them to garnish the dish.
Yield: 3-4 servings.
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