When most of us think of Thanksgiving, we think of roast turkey, cranberries and pumpkin pie. I love all of those things, but when I mention turkey to my vegetarian friends, they wince and nod. They are quite polite about keeping there mouths shut around this deluded omnivore.
Even I'll admit I wouldn't have thought of this as Thanksgiving day recipe, when I first saw it in a holiday cookbook. The more I do think about it, though, the more I think, “why not?” Thanksgiving is more than eating specific kinds of food. It's about sharing good food with family and friends, celebrating the harvest, and generally being grateful for our blessings.
I'm certainly grateful for you, my blog friends and visitors. With that in mind, let me share this vegetarian recipe that may just turn up on my own Thanksgiving table this year. To simplify things for your Thanksgiving day feast, I recommend preparing it the day before and reheating before serving.
I modified the original recipe, of course, replacing the traditional red wine and Madeira port with vegetable stock and a pinch of sugar. I'm not above using wine in cooking, I just try and limit it more than a traditional stroganoff allows for. To be honest, I think I like it better this way.
Large pot or Dutch oven
Kitchen scale *
Mushroom brush or damp cloth
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound leeks
8 oz. white button mushrooms *
6 oz. portabello mushrooms *
3 oz. shitake mushrooms *
3 oz. crimini mushrooms *
1 1/4 cup cup vegetable stock, or water
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch freshly ground black pepper
pinch of sugar (optional)
Clean the mushrooms with a mushroom brush or damp cloth. Trim off any damaged spots or split stems. Cut the white and crimini mushrooms into quarters, vertically so each piece has a portion of the stem. Cut the portabello mushrooms into 3 /4 inch pieces. Remove the stems from the shitake's and and quarter them, as well. Set the mushrooms aside.
Cut the roots and most of the course green tops off of the leeks. Slice into 3 /4 inch rings. Rinse well in a colander or large sieve to remove any dirt (leeks are notorious for hiding dirt inside them), drain, and set aside.
Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the olive oil. Heat the oil until it starts to shimmer just a bit. Add the leeks, and a pinch of salt. Saute about 6 minutes, or until tender. Add the mushrooms. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Stir in the vegetable stock and deglaze the bottom of the pan, scraping up all the yummy dark bits. Stir in the tomato paste, sale, pepper and sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover with a lid. Simmer an additional 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove the lid and simmer uncovered and additional 15 minutes, allowing the mixture to reduce slightly. Stir occasionally.
Serve over wide pasta noodles or, in keeping with the Thanksgiving theme, garlic and rosemary mashed potatoes.
What? You don't know how to make garlic and rosemary mashed potatoes? Stay tuned my friends. Stay tuned.
Makes 8 servings.
*If you don't have a kitchen scale, that's a total of 8 cups of mushrooms, sliced. Any combination of domestic or wild mushrooms will do. These are just some that are available at my local supermarket.
Photo by Lize Rixt