This recipe is supposed to be a spring medley with mushrooms, escarole, mint, and freshly shelled spring peas, but I decided to just use frozen peas and turn it into an autumn dish. The recipe is from the Union Square Cookbook, by Danny Meyer and Michael Romano.
- 2 cups pearl onions (1/2 pound)
- 1 3/4 cups vegetable stock
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 2 Tbsp. flour
- 3 cups quartered white mushrooms (1/2 pound)
- 4 cups cleaned and roughly chopped escarole (4 oz)
- 2 cups shelled peas (10 oz)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
- 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- Peel the onions. You can make this easier by first soaking them in warm water to loosen their skins. Place the peeled onions in a small saucepan with the vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, turn the flame down to low, cover, and simmer until tender but not mushy, 10 to 12 minutes.
- Make a beurre manie: In a small dish, with your fingers, make a paste of the flour and 1 tablespoon of the butter . Reserve.
- In a 10-inch lidded skillet or saucepan, melt the remaining butter over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the escarole and toss until wilted.
- Add the peas, mint, onions, and onion broth to the skillet. Season with salt and pepper and whisk the beurre manie into the cookie liquid. Cover and cook until the peas are tender and the sauce has thickened, 4 to 5 minutes. Serve.
My onions were the smallest I could find, but still quite a bit bigger than pearl onions. I used criminis instead of white mushrooms, and increased the escarole amount to 6 oz. I used a very tightly packed 1/4 cup of chopped mint. My vegetable broth was a bit salty so I reduced the salt to 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt. Since I increased the escarole I used a 12-inch skillet.
The dish turned out pleasant, and it did have a bit of a spring vibe. The veggies are suspended in a light brown gravy. Derek thought the dish was too wet to serve alone, and that it needed to be served with rice or potatoes or bread—anything to sop up the sauce. I could faintly taste the mint, but it was subtle. Next time I’d use a bit more. I’m glad I added extra escarole. Next time I think I’d even use more, maybe 8 oz. I liked the contrast in colors: brown crimini mushrooms, bright green peas, pale green escarole, and bright white onions.
The most annoying thing about this dish is peeling the onions. I didn’t try pre-soaking them. I’ll try that next time, if I can find pearl onions. My small but non-pearl onions were really too big (maybe 1.5 inches in diameter), and rather unwieldy next to the dainty peas and small pieces of mushrooms. I think if I can’t find small onions next time I should just try just chopping the onions and sautéing them with the mushrooms.