mushroom salad


I used to read cookbooks like novels. I don’t require pictures, and I don’t like to skip around – I’ll be annoyed making the chocolate cake from Chapter 10 if I’m still reading through Chapter 2’s salads. It feels like a spoiler; like when I was sad to see Gandalf die in The Fellowship of the Ring, and Dave tried to make me feel better by telling me that he comes back in the next book/movie. I hate spoilers.


These days, though, I can’t seem get through an entire cookbook. I think I need a new method – like accepting that it’s okay not to read every step in every recipe. I’m only on Chapter 3 (Eggs, Dairy and Cheese, yum) in Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, which I got for Christmas. I’m still very happy with the cookbook – everything I’ve made from it has been great, and the recipes get me excited to cook. But right now, it’s just sitting on my shelf while I focus on other things. Since I haven’t read much more than the soups and salads chapters, that’s all I ever make from the book.


These mushrooms, from the salad chapter, made a handy side dish for meatball sliders. They’re nice and easy – after sautéing the quartered mushrooms with some aromatics, you mix them with vinegar and olive oil. Then just set them aside to marinate.

The simple mixture was surprisingly good. I was worried that Dave wouldn’t like them, because he doesn’t like pickled anything, but they weren’t sour, just a little tangy. It makes the big green cookbook on my shelf that much more enticing.


One year ago: Cappuccino Cream Puff Rings

Mushroom Salad, Italian-American Style (from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian)

I didn’t actually measure anything, which is normal for me for a Bittman recipe. He presents his recipes more as ideas to get you started than rules to follow. I’m guessing I used less oil, and I just added vinegar to taste.

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 pound butter or other mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup minced onion
1 tablespoon slivered garlic
½ cup red wine vinegar
½ cup chopped parsley leaves for garnish

1. Put 3 tablespoons oil in a wide skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the mushrooms, and cook, stirring occasionally and sprinkling with salt and pepper, until they give up their liquid and begin to brown, about 10 minutes. Lower the heat a bit and add the onion, then cook until the onion softens, another 5 minutes or so. Add the garlic and cool, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes more. Turn off the heat.

2. Transfer the mushrooms to a bowl and stir in the vinegar and remaining tablespoon of oil. Let cool to room temperature for at least 30 minutes. Garnish and serve or let sit at room temperature for another hour or two before serving.


  1. This looks really tasty and flavorful! Oh and I know you don’t like spoilers (either do I) but sometimes you have to skip a few pages to get a little inspiration. You don’t want to get burnt out on soups and salads:)

  2. These look fabulous! I love mushrooms, and I bet they would be so delicious cooked this way. I also read cookbooks like novels, although I don’t mind skipping around- I usually go to the dessert section first 🙂

  3. This looks great! I have made some impromptu mushroom salads before, but the marinating step in this recipe sounds fabulous. I can’t wait to make these!

  4. Holy gorgeous. Mushrooms always tend to have that rich, meaty quality and I love the idea of serving them alongside something complimentary (meatballs) but adding some a bit of acidity to the mix. Beautiful shot and in my humble opinion, totally worth the read-ahead!

  5. This looks fantastic, especially since I love all kinds of mushrooms!

  6. I love mushrooms like this. SO delicious. Based on your cookbook reading style, you would probably like the Nigel Slater book I’m working my way through (The Kitchen Diaries). I really love it, and in addition to the recipes there’s just paragraphs about what he ate for dinner that night, what looked good at the farmers market that day, etc.

  7. I love reading cookbooks with a passion. More than a book. I love to start in the dessert section. Nice mushroom dish!

  8. Sara L says:

    I’ve made mushroom salads before and this looks like something we would like. Unfortunately, while Jason and I love mushrooms, I can’t get the boys to eat them.

  9. I just went to the store and they had huge bags baby portebello mushrooms marked down to $1 !!!!!! It was meant for me to make this salad today!

  10. Wow! This looks awesome! And easy to make! I am trying to eat more vegetarian food and always looking for low fat, high protein dishes to make. I plan on making it this weekend. Great photography, too, BTW.

  11. Mmm, mushrooms! Good! Hee hee 🙂 Oh, it’s done like the no-mayo potato salad then? Looks absolutely delish, and especially with the garlic too– they’re just such a good pair!

  12. My hubby would love this! Mushroom salads always remind me of the mushroom sides at steak houses – yum!

  13. I keep seeing the cookbook around, and I think I need to add it to my collection. It’s huge, so you can’t blame yourself for not reading it all at once! I love mushrooms, and think this would make a great side dish.

  14. Okay. I’m so going to have to make this. It looks wonderful. Last year I tried to cook my way through HTCEV in order and never made it past the salad chapter. And even then didn’t make it through half way.

  15. Delicious. I bet the red wine vinegar gives it a nice bite. Balsamic would probably be good too. Will definitely be trying it this summer!

  16. I think I could eat just this alone for dinner and be a happy woman. YUM.

    Now come swing by my blog and pick up your award 🙂

  17. I cook a similar dish to this from a Spanish cookbook that calls for lemon juice instead of vinegar. Never considered tha they probably do the same thing for the dish. I really dig you blog by the way. Very cool content, obvious culinary genius, and spectacular photos. Superb stuff.. I will be a regular reader .


  18. I made this salad. it does not look like in the picture. since it looked dull I added cooked colorful bell peppers. tastes fabulous!!!