I’m always looking for something to do with the bounty of mushrooms we have at the market. Yesterday, I was thumbing through one of my favorite, tried and true farm to table cookbooks, Waldy Malouf’s “The Hudson Valley River Cookbook” and stumbled on this recipe that seems just about perfect for this time of year. Serve it with an Italian roasting chicken from Stone Barns or, for a lighter meal, with a salad of Morgiewicz arugula, Coach goat cheese, roasted beets from Newgate and candied walnuts from Tierra.*
Mushroom and Onion Gratin
3 very large onions, peeled and cut in half cross-wise
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 pound mushrooms, chopped coarse
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup fresh white bread crumbs (from Bread Alone)
• Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F
• Scoop out as much of the center of each onion half as you can and still leave a firm shell.
• Chop the centers coarse.
• In a saute pan, melt half the butter and saute the chopped onions and mushrooms with the the thyme until the vegetables are limp and lightly browned.
• Season the insides of the onion shells with salt and pepper and fill each half with the mushroom mixture.
• Melt the remaining butter and combine it with the bread crumbs.
• Pat 2 tablespoons of the crumb mixture over each onion half.
• Put the onions in a small baking pan and roast for about 1 hour, or until they are tender and the tops are well-browned.
Though the recipe doesn’t call for it, I wouldn’t be opposed to a dollop of creme fraiche, or some crumbled goat cheese as a finishing touch.
Don’t forget to pick up some chutney from Bombay Emerald this week.
They missed their visit last month so your supply must be running low. Their plum chutney is fantastic on sandwiches, I use mint chutney in my rice, or on lamb burgers. They also sell their ready-made samosas and saag paneer for a fun, but no fuss meal.
* to candy walnuts or pistachios for salads, simply toss them with a half cup of sugar in a skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves into a light brown liquid and coats the nuts. Then spread them out on a sheet of aluminum foil to cool. Or. to achieve that same nutty crunch, without the sugar calories, you can simply toast nuts on a baking sheet at about 400 degrees for 6 to 8 minutes…don’t wander off. I’m famous for forgetting about my nuts in the broiler – usually right before a dinner party.
Pascale Le Draoulec
food writer/ author/ farmers market director