16 June 2009

Champignons à la grecque

I've been making these champignons à la grecque for 30 years now. They are very easy to do. I got the recipe from Monique Maine's Cuisine pour toute l'année (1969), a cookbook I always come back to for standard French methods and foods.

I remember eating champignons à la grecque in little inexpensive Paris restaurants back in the 1970s adn '8os. Those are good memories.

You can serve the Greek mushrooms as a first course salad, or you can serve them as finger food to be stabbed and grabbed with cocktail picks. That's what we did day before yesterday when Martine and Christian were here. We opened a bottle of sparkling Vouvray wine, set out some olives, and enjoyed all that with the mushrooms.

Here's my translation of Mme Maine's recipe. I've adapted it to work with a pound of mushrooms. This is a salad, so the amounts of different ingredients are flexible. The important thing is to put in a good amount of lemon and enough tomato paste to give the mushrooms and sauce a good color but not too much of a tomato sauce taste and consistency.
Greek mushroom salad

1 lb. button mushrooms
15 pearl onions (or 1 large onion, diced)
1½ cups white wine
1½ Tbsp. tomato paste
1 large lemon
3 bay leaves
2 sprigs of thyme (or 1 tsp. dried thyme)
salt to taste
1 dozen black peppercorns
8 or 9 coriander seeds
3 Tbsp. olive oil

Trim the mushrooms and wash them under running water. Rinse them in water with a little lemon juice added to it.

Peel the pearl onions, leaving them whole. Put the mushrooms and onions in a saucepan with the wine, the tomato paste, the lemon slices, and all the herbs and spices.

Add enough water so that everything is covered. Put the pot on medium heat and let it simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.

When the mushrooms are done, take the pot off the heat and let it cool. Stir in the olive oil. Pour the mushrooms into a serving dish and keep in the refrigerator until serving time.
Here is the Monique Maine recipe in French:
Champignons à la grecque

300 g de petits champignons de Paris
10 petits oignons
¼ l de vin blanc sec
1 c. à soupe de concentré de tomate
1 citron
2 feuilles de laurier
poivre en grains
5 ou 6 grains de coriandre
2 c. à soupe d'huile d'olive

Ôtez le bout terreux des champignons, lavez-les à l'eau courante, puis passez-les à l'eau citronnée. Épluchez les oignons, laissez-les entiers. Mettez les légumes dans une cocotte, ajoutez le vin blanc, le concentré, le citron coupé en tranches et tous les aromates. Complétez avec un peu d'eau si les légumes ne sont pas assez mouillés. Faites cuire 20 mn à feu moyen. Ôtez la cocotte du feu et laissez refroidir, ajoutez alors l'huile d'olive. Versez dans le plat de service et mettez au frais.


  1. Hurray! I am finally able to post a comment! Please forgive the enthusiasm. I have been following your blog for three years now, love it. I really like the fact that it is real, about real life and not some fantasy adventure. Thanks for all your hard work.

  2. Thanks, Kendall for making yourself known. Come back often and let us know how you are doing!

  3. Mmm, yummy!


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