Wild Mushroom, Heirloom Potato & Escarole Stew
Lizzie Binder, Bar Bambino, San Francisco / March 2012
For 8 servings
• 2 lbs. Russian banana or German butterball potatoes, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1/4"-thick slices
• 1/4 bunch parsley, plus more for garnishing
• 1/4 bunch thyme
• 4 cloves garlic: 2 cloves lightly crushed, 2 cloves smashed to a paste
• 1 bay leaf
• 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
• 1 cup onion, finely diced
• 3 lbs. mixed wild or cultivated mushrooms, cleaned and cut into medium pieces
• black pepper, freshly ground
• 3 Tbsps. apple cider vinegar
• 1 lg. head escarole, leaves removed and sliced into wide strips
• sour cream
- Place potatoes in large pot; cover with water; add parsley, thyme, 2 cloves crushed garlic, and bay leaf; season with salt; bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium; simmer until tender; drain over large bowl; reserve potatoes and cooking water separately.
- Heat oil in heavy-bottomed saucepan set over medium-low heat; add onion and 2 cloves smashed garlic; cook, stirring frequently, until onions are softened and translucent; add mushrooms in batches, the largest and longest cooking first; cook, stirring occasionally, until cooked through but still firm enough to maintain shape and juices have evaporated from pan; season with salt and pepper.
- Add reserved potato cooking water just to cover; add potatoes; bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium; simmer gently until flavors start to meld and water thickens slightly (8 to 10 minutes); season with vinegar, 1 Tbsp. at a time, tasting after each addition; add escarole; simmer until escarole wilts (2 to 5 minutes); reserve (keep warm).
- To serve, ladle stew among large bowls; top each with generous dollop of sour cream; garnish with parsley; drizzle with oil.
What to drink: La Biancara di Angiolino Maule Pico Garganega Chef’s Note: Western Friuli and neighboring Slovenia are rich with mushrooms, and they are featured on many traditional dishes. This is a refined version of a classic dish called gobova juha. We use locally foraged wild mushrooms and dry-farmed heirloom potatoes.