April 17, 2010
It doesn’t take much to make me really happy. A clean kitchen (heck, an empty dishwasher and sink will do it). Shoes that fit perfectly (I have terrible feet, you see). Discovering a forgotten pair of jeans (that I actually like) in the back of my closet. The aroma of fresh brewed coffee before I’ve really woken up (coupled with an errand-free Saturday morning is perfection). Swiffer dry cloths (if you have wood floors you know why). The high after a long run. A near empty peanut butter jar and a spoon. A glass of really good red wine after a really long week. The TV to myself along with a TiVo queue full of Project Runway and Chopped. The first open window drive home of the season. The way my hair looks and feels after a haircut (how do they make it so shiny?). And appetizers that don’t take much effort, like these here marinated cremini mushrooms. They make me happy, they do.
Is it just me, or does anyone else struggle with appetizers? When it comes to entertaining I am always at a loss for pre-dinner noshes, wrapped up in planning the main dishes and dessert, distracted with deciding which serving platters and bowls to use and focused on all of the other necessary logistics (Are there enough wineglasses, did I hang a fresh towel in the bathroom, did I remember to put on deodorant. You know, the usual). We tend to keep things simple. One main “thing”, like a cheeseboard, and a few supporting “things”. But sometimes the supporting “things” require a lot of last minute time and energy that I lack to wrap, stack, toast, roll or stuff. So stumbling upon appetizer recipes that require very little effort and less than 20 minutes of my time, and should be made hours, a day even, in advance makes me really happy. Like I said, it doesn’t take much.
These are a great addition to an antipasti platter, but just as easily stand alone. They add substance without being heavy. And, bonus, they’re healthy but your guests won’t notice.
Marinated Cremini Mushrooms(Adapted slightly from Whole Foods)
- 2 T extra virgin olive oil
- 2 to 4 T white wine vinegar, or to taste
- 1 to 2 cloves minced garlic (optional)
- 1/4 cup minced shallot
- 2 tsp minced fresh oregano
- 2 T minced flat leaf parsley
- Kosher salt, to taste
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 pound fresh cremini mushrooms*
In a medium bowl whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, shallot, oregano, parsley, salt and pepper. Clean mushrooms and remove stems. Simmer mushroom caps in salted water for 5 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Drain and transfer to the bowl with the marinade. Toss gently to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning. Marinate in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. Bring to room temperature before serving.
*One pound looks and sounds like a lot, but don’t be fooled. Cooked mushrooms shrink. When in doubt, double. They’ll go.