Champiñones al ajillo or garlic mushrooms is a classic tapa or racion found all over Spain. Typically we order a racion or plate to share per person and garlic mushrooms is one of my favorites. Besides being a delicious choice, it is easy to make, has its health benefits and has great possibilities as leftovers if you make it at home.
Although the mushrooms I use in this recipe are white button mushrooms found in standard Spanish markets, it is interesting to know that Spain has a long and rich tradition of foraging for mushrooms. When our children were young we referred to it as mushroom hunting. When we first moved to Spain over twenty years ago we lived in Bilbao. We wondered early on what people were collecting in their wicker baskets on damp Spring and Autumn mornings in the countryside. They wandered in open fields and off forest trails searching for mushrooms. Boletus, niscalos, and setas de cardo are among the prized varieties that we have learned to carefully identify with a guide and enjoy in Spanish dishes.
Mushrooms are a good source of protein and fiber and make for a choice low calorie primary ingredient for this simple recipe. They are simply sliced and then sautéed in hot oil with a tremendous amount of garlic and a small dried chili pepper. When mushrooms are cooked add a dash of dry white wine and top with a generous amount of fresh parsley and lemon juice. Generally I serve it on small slices of toasted bread with a shaving of manchego or a bit of crumbled blue cheese.
Perhaps, what I like most about garlic mushrooms is what you can do with the leftovers. Nearly every Sunday we have poached eggs on sautéed onions and potatoes and often I’ll spoon the mushroom and garlic combination on top. It is also a quick lunch during the week over brown rice and dressed greens. Finally, I like to add it to a tomato sauce over pasta. It has saved me more than once when I desired a quick, healthy and satisfying meal. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do.
Love Spanish cuisine? Check out more Spanish recipes by Jamie Roblee below!
Garlic Mushrooms with Herbs
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 20 oz white mushrooms, sliced
- 8 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 small dried chili pepper, minced (or about 6 flakes of chili flakes)
- 1 bunch parsley, chopped
- Juice of 1 lemon
- White wine
- Heat olive oil in a skillet until an added piece of garlic begins to sizzle. Add the rest of the chopped garlic. Saute for about 20 seconds, stirring continuously.
- Add sliced mushrooms. Stir mushrooms so they are completely coated with olive oil and garlic. Saute mushrooms on medium heat until the liquid from the mushrooms cook off.
- As the mushrooms begin to brown add the minced chili pepper or red pepper flakes. Salt and pepper, to taste. Add parsley and stir. Add 2 Tablespoons white wine. Let it cook off and then add the lemon juice.
- Serve warm.
Good recipe, although I prefer not to add lemon juice to them. I think the slight acidity provided by the wine is enough.
In fact, neither in my family nor in the bars or restaurants where I have cooked, is lemon juice usually added. As you may know, lemon is used to eliminate aromas and flavors between dishes, especially after eating seafood. Adding lemon juice can “kill” the delicate aromas of the mushroom and the wine.
I love mushrooms! I love this recipe!