Wiltbank Farm Mushroom Ragu
Published by William Morrow
We use mushrooms from Wiltbank Farm in Saugerties to prepare this earthy and creamy ragù, which we toss with our handmade pasta and use to top crispy crostini and polenta canapés. Substitute the same amounts of any seasonal mushrooms. Be sure to trim the stems on all mushrooms and even to trim off the underside gills on large mushrooms.
Make Ahead RecipeYes
OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Cocktail Party, Cooking for a date, Formal Dinner Party
Recipe CourseAppetizer, Hors D'oeuvre, Hot Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Dietary ConsiderationEgg-free, Gluten-free, Kosher, Peanut Free, Soy Free, Tree Nut Free, Vegetarian
MoodBlue, Festive, Romantic
Taste and TextureCheesy, Creamy, Herby, Rich, Salty, Savory, Umami
Type of DishCanape/crostini, Vegetable
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ cup chopped shallots (about 4 shallots)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups chopped blue oyster mushrooms (about 6 ounces trimmed, 8 ounces untrimmed)
- 2 cups chopped orange oyster mushrooms (about 6 ounces trimmed, 8 ounces untrimmed)
- 2 cups chopped shiitake mushrooms (about 6 ounces trimmed, 8 ounces untrimmed)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup dry white wine
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
- ½ teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 1 cup grated Fontina cheese
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Grana Padano or Parmesan cheese
Heat the oil in the largest skillet you have over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook until the shallots are translucent and the garlic is just starting to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the mushrooms, a little at a time, adding more as they cook down and start to shrink. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and keep stirring until the mushrooms begin to brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Then deglaze the skillet with the white wine, and cook until the liquid has reduced to a few glossy tablespoons, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the cream, rosemary, and lemon zest. Remove the skillet from the heat, mix in both cheeses, and taste again for salt and pepper. Serve immediately, or refrigerate the mushroom ragù for a few days and reheat it over a gentle flame with a touch of broth or cream.
I like to use whatever seasonal herbs I can snip from my garden plot. Sage can take the place of rosemary quite successfully. In the springtime I even substitute tarragon, which adds a lovely anise flavor and pairs well with the mushrooms.
Serving Suggestions: For crostini, bruschetta, or polenta canapé appetizers: Place a rack approximately 6 inches below the heat source and preheat the broiler. Top the crostini, bruschette, or cold sliced polenta rounds with 1 or 2 tablespoons of mushroom ragù and sprinkle with a little Parmesan cheese. Arrange the crostini in one layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Broil until the tops begin to brown in spots, about 3 minutes. Watch closely so the crostini don’t burn or scorch. Transfer to a serving platter, and serve warm.
Leftovers: This ragù holds very well in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days. I love it mixed into scrambled eggs, used as an omelet filling, stirred into risotto, or even topping a pizza. You’re limited only by your imagination. This is even great spooned into a roasted sweet potato—a treat for the eyes and the stomach. Yum.
Nutrition: Mushrooms are an excellent source of selenium, a cancer-fighting powerhouse, plus lots of great minerals such as copper.
Economy: Wild mushrooms are expensive, but combining button mushrooms with a few wild mushrooms can reduce the cost considerably while still resulting in a great dish.
2009 Laura Pensiero