Slow-Cooked Sandpot Mushrooms
Paula Wolfert says she firmly believes that cooking in earthenware transforms food in the best ways. We tested this recipe in enameled cast iron as well as a flameproof glazed pot purchased at an Asian market for less than $20; the latter did yield mushrooms that were more moist and more flavorful. For electric and ceramic stove tops, she recommends using a diffuser for the burner (such as a ring from a wok). Do not use unglazed clay pots on the stove top.
1 pound whole white button mushrooms
6 cloves garlic, sliced
11/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Thyme stems (optional)
Freshly ground pepper
Use a soft brush to clean the mushrooms. Cut off and discard the very end of the stems.
Place the mushrooms in the ceramic pot (at least a 1-quart capacity), then add the garlic, oil and thyme stems, if using, tossing to coat and incorporate. Cover with a crumpled piece of parchment paper placed directly over the mixture. Put the lid on the pot and cook over low heat for 45 minutes, shaking the pot from time to time so the mushrooms cook evenly.
Uncover, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Discard the thyme stems. Serve hot. Makes 4 servings.
Source: Adapted from Wolfert's "Mediterranean Clay Pot Cooking: Traditional and Modern Recipes to Savor and Share" (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009).
Per serving: 80 calories, 4 g protein, 5 g carbohydrates, 5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 cholesterol, 65 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 2 g sugar