mushroom and squash ragoût

I made this dish last night and received a few recipe requests upon posting a pic on various networks, so here we are.

This is a seriously simple  go-to comfort food for me that I often make with just a variety of mushrooms, but, as we’d received a rather nice gift of lovely pattypan squashes (which I love because they don’t need to be skinned, which is my least favourite prep thing to do, evar), I thought I’d include those too. The beauty of adding those wee squashes is that the stew requires zero thickening agents beyond the sugars released during browning. It goes together quickly, feeds four people with larger-than-healthy appetites and can remain completely vegan or you can dairy it up with a bit of stinky cheese.

What you need:

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 cups of diced pattypan squash
  • 2 pints of mushrooms, cut however your little heart desires (I used white mushrooms as they were on sale, but oyster, cremini, shitake, Portobellos all work well too and I highly recommend a mix – so good)
  • 1 cup of diced cooking onion
  • 6 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup of dry, white wine (I used retsina because I love that resin flavour and it really works with the rosemary we’ll be adding in later)
  • 4 cups of veg (or chicken) stock
  • 1 tablespoon of dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • Salt & pepper to taste

What you do:

  1. In a large saucepan, sauté the onions & garlic in the olive oil over medium-low heat until translucent.
  2. Turn the heat up to medium-high and add the squash, the nutmeg and some salt &.
  3. Once the squash begins to brown, add the mushrooms.
  4. Once the mushrooms are browned, deglaze the pan with about half of the wine until all of that delicious browning residue is lifted from the bottom.
  5. Reduce the heat to medium-low.
  6. Add the stock, the remainder of the wine and the rosemary.
  7. Taste test for salty-pepperiness and add salt & pepper as desired.
  8. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  9. Eat.

My favourite way to serve this is over grilled or fried polenta (rice works really well too) with a (liberal) sprinkling of grated stinky cheese (I highly recommend asiago), chopped parsley and freshly ground pepper. I also enjoy it all on its own.

Note: If you want to use only mushrooms, replace the squash with more mushrooms and add a tablespoon of flour during the browning phase.