Roasted mushrooms are delicious. Marinated mushrooms are a whole new level! Imagine a blend of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic and thyme soaked up by the mushrooms that squirts in your mouth when you bite into it……yes!!!
Mushrooms are awesome little sponges that absorbs the flavour of anything they’re cooked in.
Today, we’re marinating garlic roasted mushrooms in balsamic vinegar and olive oil. You will be amazed how much of the marinade the mushrooms soak up in just a couple of hours. That moment you bite into a mushroom and the balsamic juice squirts out in your mouth….that’s a little bit of food heaven right there!
As for what to use these for?
As a meal – on toast or over mash or similar (mushrooms are so meaty!)
Side dish – for breakfast or a steak dinner
Grazing board – the most perfect “I MADE THESE MYSELF!” addition to your next cheese platter.
Many more suggestions with links to suggested recipes below.
Bonus: Dunking bread in the mushroom-y balsamic juices. Today’s recipe is the gift that keeps on giving!
Here’s all you need to make balsamic marinated mushrooms. It’s all in the method – tossing hot mushrooms soaked in the balsamic blend for maximum flavour absorption!
Type (flexible). Size (flexible)!
Type I’m using plain white mushrooms today. Swiss brown / cremini would be a perfect substitute. In theory, this recipe will work for most mushrooms that can be roasted, just cut them as appropriate. Portobello / large flat mushrooms (cut into large pieces or slice), Shiitake (whole), oyster (whole / halve larger ones), king oysters/trumpet (hmm, I’d probably slice thickly). I’d probably avoid the stringy / thinner types, like enoki and shimeji.
Size My preference is to use smaller mushrooms around 3 – 3.5cm wide (1.2 – 1.4″) so I can keep them whole for maximum effect of biting into a juicy mushroom.
However, mushrooms, being the selfish uncooperative things that they are, do not always grow to the exact size specification I wish for. So cut larger ones in half, or quarters / into cubes for really big ones. The goal is to make them all roughly the same size so they roast in about the same time. Bear in mind they will shrink about 30% once roasted.
Balsamic blend and roasting flavours
Balsamic vinegar – For marinating. Chosen for flavour and because it stains the mushrooms a mahogany colour. Other milder vinegars like white vinegar vinegar, sherry vinegar will also work. Lemon and plain white vinegar are sharper so just use less.
Garlic and thyme – For roasting flavours. I mince half the garlic (so it disperses) and keep 2 whole, smashed, so they impart garlic flavour throughout while roasting and also while marinating. For the thyme, fresh sprigs will bring the best flavour but dried will work as a substitute.
Extra virgin olive oil – For roasting and marinating.
How to make marinated mushrooms
Simple recipe with few ingredients. It’s all in the method – roast first, then toss hot mushrooms in the balsamic blend. When they are hot, the pores are open so this provides maximum flavour absorption opportunity!
Toss the raw mushrooms with olive oil first. Then add the minced and whole garlic cloves, thyme, salt and pepper. Toss again.
Use a large roasting pan – easier for tossing than a baking tray. The mushrooms can be very, very snug in a single layer. They will shrink about 30%.
Roast for 35 minutes at 200°C/400°F (180°C fan-forced), tossing during the halfway mark, until browned and soft but still juicy inside. Don’t roast them for so long that they become shrivelled and sad!
Marinade – Immediately pour all the mushrooms and juices in the pan into a large bowl. Then add the balsamic vinegar and more olive oil, then toss, toss, toss!
Marinate – Leave the bowl uncovered (we don’t want condensation diluting the flavour!) and let the mushrooms marinate as they cool, tossing once (or twice or three times!). It will take about 2 hours to come to room temperature and that’s enough time for the mushrooms to absorb sufficient flavour to serve / start picking at for a “taste test”.😈
However, if you have the time, refrigerate and leave them overnight! They will absorb even more flavour.
Serve at room temperature or slightly warm for maximum appreciation of flavour! It really brings out the garlic and thyme flavour when slightly warmed.
Now, the fun part – serving options!
How to eat / serve marinated mushrooms
SO MANY POSSIBILITIES!
Pop in mouth straight out of the bowl – yup, these little juicy flavour bomb mushrooms are can’t-stop-eating-them good. My most common way of eating them!
As a meal (see polenta photo at top of post) – Piled over creamy polenta (use directions in this recipe), mash (potato, sweet potato or cauliflower puree) or risotto (this No-Stir Creamy Lemon & Herb Baked Risotto and Creamy Baked Pumpkin Risotto come to mind). Note on pasta, rice etc – I don’t think there’s enough balsamic sauce to serve over plain cooked pasta or rice. You might disagree. Let me know if you do!!
Grazing board (below) – Make these the hero of your next cheese platter! Serve alongside cheese, charcuterie, pickles, crackers, bread and why not some crispy grilled baby octopus? Serve the mushrooms whole or sliced so they can be piled onto crackers or crostini smeared with blue cheese (RTE team fave!) or goats cheese.
“Interesting salads” lunch spread – Something I’ve been doing more of lately! Make a lunch spread with a selection of interesting salads for a leisurely Sunday lunch with friends. I see these marinated mushrooms alongside a Roasted Cauliflower Salad, Lentil and Roasted Eggplant Salad and perhaps a leafy Iceberg Lettuce Dill Salad with crusty bread (or cheese bread!) for plate mopping.
Toast (pictured below) – Slather toasted bread with avocado, goats cheese, blue cheese, cream cheese or anything that can act as a “glue” for the mushrooms. If serving with a knife and fork, the mushrooms can be kept whole. If eating with your hands, I’d suggest slicing or quartering so the mushrooms don’t tumble off.
Stuffed in a sandwich – Take a big soft roll. Slather with cream cheese or goats cheese. Pile with rocket/arugula, slices of tomato, and a big pile of these mushrooms. YES!
As a side dish! For all these, I’d warm the mushrooms slightly. See list below.
Serve marinated mushrooms on the side of…
As a steak sauce – Make your favourite steak (this one of course 😂) then serve it with a pile of marinated mushrooms (sliced) on top. Spoon over the balsamic juices. Yum, yum, yum!
On a simple piece of chicken breast – Do the same with a simple piece of pan seared marinated chicken breast. Or pile a generous amount over poached chicken breast – you’ve used my foolproof guaranteed-juicy-every-time method, right??
Well that’s enough ideas from me! I want to know how you’d serve these mushrooms. Share your suggestions below! – Nagi x
Watch how to make it
Balsamic marinated mushrooms
- 700g/ 1.4 lb small whole white mushrooms or halved larger ones (Note 1)
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp cooking/kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme (sub 1/2 tsp dried thyme)
- 2 garlic cloves , finely minced
- 2 garlic cloves (skin on fine), smashed (Note 2)
- 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat oven to 200°C/375°F (180°C fan).
- Season – Put mushrooms into a roasting pan (not tray, easier to mix well in pan). They can be snug but should be in a single layer (mushrooms shrink ~25-30%). Toss with olive oil first. Then add salt, pepper, thyme and garlic (minced & whole), then toss again.
- Roast 35 minutes, tossing well at the 20 minute mark, or until the mushrooms are browned and soft.
- Marinade – While hot, transfer mushrooms into a bowl (including all the juices). Add balsamic and olive oil. Toss well.
- Marinate 2 to 24 hrs – Let the mushrooms cool and marinate for 2 hours (uncovered), tossing once or twice, or for even better flavour, marinate overnight (covered in fridge once cool).
- Serving – Always serve at room temperature or slightly warmed, for best flavour. And don't waste the juices – it's full of flavour!
- Serving options – As part of a grazing board, on polenta or mash as a meal, on toast slathered with goats cheese or cream cheese, on the side of fried eggs, on creamy risotto or risoni/orzo. See in post for a long list!
Life of Dozer
Nowhere to be seen while I was making the mushrooms. Then the cheese board appears and poof! There he is!