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Button Mushroom Salad

March 18, 2011

Button Mushroom Salad

- Amanda

Button mushrooms are unfairly underappreciated by most cooks. There, I said it. The great truth we are all ashamed to admit. We add them thoughtlessly to beef stew. We toss them into spinach salads. And we tuck them dutifully into omelettes. All the while dreaming of other, more exotic varieties.

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Meanwhile, the button mushroom has been nothing but kind to us. It offers up loads of flavor without hogging the spotlight. It's inexpensive and holds its own in the fridge when we ignore it for a week. And while we can now buy many different kinds of mushrooms, the button remains delicious.

And so I present you with a button mushroom salad, inspired by one I had at Txikito, an excellent Basque restaurant in Chelsea. Txikito's is made with king oyster mushrooms. When I later tried to recreate this recipe, I realized that king oyster mushrooms just weren't available to most home cooks. But there sitting in my local Gristedes, waiting to help, was the button.

Button Mushroom Salad

Serves 4

  • 12 large button mushrooms, wiped clean with a damp paper towel and stems trimmed
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 1 garlic clove, lightly smashed
  • Salt
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons finely diced tomato
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons slivered almonds, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons grated pecorino Romano cheese
  • Thin slices of toasted baguette, for serving

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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Amanda Hesser

Written by: Amanda Hesser

Before starting Food52 with Merrill, I was a food writer and editor at the New York Times. I've written several books, including "Cooking for Mr. Latte" and "The Essential New York Times Cookbook." I played myself in "Julie & Julia" -- hope you didn't blink, or you may have missed the scene! I live in Brooklyn with my husband, Tad, and twins, Walker and Addison.


SFoodGeek March 21, 2011
great recipe and who would've thought about oil poaching mushrooms! great technique. this dish reminds me of the mushroom salad i had in barcelona years ago.
Amanda H. March 24, 2011
Yes, and the by-product? Mushroom-flavored oil!
TiggyBee March 19, 2011
simply great!
Daphne March 19, 2011
Fun new way to cook mushrooms and I'm going to put the contents inside a grilled sandwich for G. while he watches basketball today. He's also going to love them on pizza, thank you!! By the way, I made the cabbage salad this week for dinner and it was a huge hit, so thanks to your Grandma for that!
boulangere March 19, 2011
Oooooh, the sandwich sounds wonderful!
Amanda H. March 24, 2011
I'll let her know -- she'll be thrilled to hear it!
mrslarkin March 19, 2011
Made this last night for dinner with pan-seared scallops and parsley oil. The mushroom-infused olive oil is fantastic! I skipped the almonds and cheese, forgot the lemon, but it was still really tasty. Thanks for a great recipe, Amanda!
Amanda H. March 24, 2011
Really glad you liked it. The scallops and parsley oil sound terrific. Btw, love that this was just a weeknight menu for you... wow.
EmilyNunn March 19, 2011
Love. Reminds me of my favorite mushroom pizza, at Great Lake in Chicago.
Kitchen B. March 19, 2011
And Amanda, I love this.......thank you, thank you for constantly expanding my cooking horizons
Amanda H. March 24, 2011
You guys do the same for us -- feeling is mutual.
boulangere March 18, 2011
You're right, it's very common to be snooty about button mushrooms. But they're consistently available regardless of season and location, as well as affordable. This looks lovely, and I'm very happy that you're posting these wonderful late winter salad ideas. I'm making a 50th birthday dinner for a friend this weekend, and I think we'll appetize on this! Thank you, Amanda.
Kitchen B. March 19, 2011
Love how food52 is creating no boundaries on my vocab - I love 'appetize' this!
boulangere March 20, 2011
And appetize we did, Kitchen Butterfly! I brushed the crostini with the reserved mushroom-infused olive oil before I browned them. Great appetizer! With a legume-grain combination, fabulous dinner. This one is a true winner!
EmilyC March 20, 2011
Also wanted to report back that I made the mushrooms tonight, and like boulangere, served them as an appetizer with crostini brushed with the mushroom-infused olive oil. So good. I used peppadews instead of tomatoes to add some heat. This recipe is a keeper.
boulangere March 23, 2011
Peppadews sound great, EmilyC!
Amanda H. March 24, 2011
Poor things, they've been sitting in the grocery store watching their portobello friends fly off the shelves! Thanks for giving the recipe a whirl.
dymnyno March 18, 2011
I seldom use buttons...instead I use crimini, which are just baby portabellos, and they are usually sitting next to the buttons. The recipe sounds delicious and healthy...will do it soon
hardlikearmour March 18, 2011
Crimini and button are the same mushroom species - Agaricus bisporus.
Amanda H. March 24, 2011
Thanks hardlikearmour, didn't know that. Dymnyno, I think the recipe would be good with either.
EmilyC March 18, 2011
I was JUST thinking about doing a mushroom salad for a dinner party this weekend but fretting about spending $10+ on fancy mushrooms. So thanks for convincing me to use buttons instead! I think I'll substitute finely chopped roasted piquillo peppers for the tomatoes.
Amanda H. March 18, 2011
That's a terrific idea -- this dish could definitely benefit from a little heat.
Amanda H. March 18, 2011
Oops -- just realized that I read piquillo but thought peppadew!
EmilyC March 18, 2011
Meant to ask earlier how far in advance the mushrooms can be prepped? And I'm glad you misread piquillo for peppadew because the latter sound more interesting here!
boulangere March 18, 2011
I'm allergic to nuts, so the almonds are under the bus, but I'll add a good pinch of red pepper flakes for some heat.
drbabs March 18, 2011
Dinner tonight! Thanks!
Amanda H. March 24, 2011
You're welcome!
thirschfeld March 18, 2011
I have ben using a lot of buttons lately because as you point out the flavor is great. I think I will be making this very soon. Looks delicious.
Amanda H. March 24, 2011