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Cute as a button, bite-size marinated mushrooms are easy to pop right into your mouth, and can be enjoyed in so many ways. Seasoned with a simple mixture of garlicky olive oil, herbs, lemon, and red wine vinegar, they keep for days in the refrigerator. Serve these tangy mushrooms as a side dish, to enhance dinner recipes (over pasta, hearty salads or as burger topping), or set them out in bowls as part of an antipasto or tapas spread to snack on with wine.
Don’t judge me, but when I was a kid I l-o-v-e-d to snack on marinated mushrooms straight out of a jar — they were tangy, and juicy, with a pleasant chew. This recipe is my homemade version, made with good ingredients that make all the difference.
- Mushrooms: I recommend using white cultivated button mushrooms that are available in any supermarket — they’re sometimes labeled “champignon.” This type of mushroom has a dense, snappy texture that won’t become mushy in the olive oil and vinegar marinade. Small brown cremini mushrooms can also be used.
- Garlic: Fresh garlic is the BEST choice for infusing the mushrooms with flavor. Unless you can very finely chop your garlic by hand, you’ll get more bang for your buck if you grate fresh garlic cloves on a rasp grater or use a garlic press instead of chopping them by hand.
- Olive oil: Because this recipe contains minimal ingredients, It’s important to use a good-tasting extra-virgin olive oil in the marinade.
- Vinegar: Robust and tangy, red wine vinegar is a natural partner with mushrooms. It has a good level of acidity without tasting too sharp. Balsamic vinegar has a much sweeter profile, but you can experiment with it if you prefer it. Start by using a half-and-half mixture and taste as you go.
- Lemon juice: Lemon juice has a lower pH than vinegar, and helps to balance the tangy taste of the marinade.
- Seasonings: Fresh herbs are full of aromatic oils that are essential flavorings in any marinade. I like to use a mixture of chopped rosemary and thyme, but herbs like marjoram, tarragon, or oregano taste great, too. If you don’t have access to fresh herbs, you can substitute dried thyme, oregano or an Italian herb blend. Always sniff your dried herbs to be sure they’re not stale — they should have a strong, appealing aroma.
Prepping mushrooms for marinating
- Fun fact: Supermarket mushrooms are grown in a sterile medium and don’t really need to be rinsed or washed to be cleaned. In fact, they’re almost like little sponges, which is why I never soak them in water or get them wet.
- Keep marinated mushrooms refrigerated for up to a week in a covered jar or container.
- The mushrooms taste best when slightly warmed, about 30 seconds in a microwave or an hour at room temperature will do the trick.
Marinated Mushrooms with Herbs, Olive Oil and Vinegar
- 1½ pounds (680 g) white button mushrooms
- ½ cup (120 ml) extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary or thyme, or a 50/50 mixture
- 2 teaspoons grated or pressed garlic, about 2-3 cloves
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 teaspoon Diamond kosher salt, ½ teaspoon Morton's kosher salt or regular table salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Trim the bottom stems from the mushrooms and remove any damaged spots (these scraps can be saved to make soup or stock). Halve or quarter any mushrooms that are larger than 1½-inches in diameter, keeping smaller ones whole. Put all the mushrooms in a large mixing bowl.
- Add ¼ cup olive oil, the herbs, red pepper, salt and black pepper to the mushrooms. Toss them gently in the bowl until they're evenly coated with the seasonings. At this point, the mushrooms can sit at room temperature up to one hour before the next step.
- Place a medium (10-inch) skillet or saute pan over medium heat until the pan is hot. Add the remaining ¼ cup olive oil to the pan. Dump the seasoned mushrooms into the pan. Cook 5-8 minutes, stirring them frequently. The goal is not to brown or saute the mushrooms, but to allow them to soften slightly in the oil. They should be tender but not mushy, with a slightly firm bite.
- Remove the pan from the heat. Add the vinegar and lemon juice to the mushrooms and stir. Transfer the mushrooms and all the pan juices to a serving bowl or platter. Enjoy the mushrooms warm or at room temperature.
Karen’s Notes and Tips
- Store marinated mushrooms refrigerated up to one week. Warm them gently in a pan, 15-30 seconds in a microwave, or allow them to come to room temperature for an hour or so before serving.
- Red wine vinegar has a good level of acidity without tasting too sharp. Balsamic vinegar has a much sweeter profile, but you can experiment with it if you prefer it. Start by using a half-and-half mixture and taste as you go.
- If you don’t have access to fresh herbs, you can substitute dried thyme, oregano, or an Italian herb blend. Always sniff your dried herbs to be sure they smell aromatic, not like dusty leaves.
- White cultivated button mushrooms are my first choice for marinating. They have a dense, snappy texture that won’t become mushy. Small brown cremini mushrooms can also be used.