Chef Walter’s Flavors + Knowledge: Balsamic Marinated Mushrooms

Wednesday, July 11, 2018
Master Chef Walter Potenza, GoLocalWorcester Food Expert

When in season mushrooms can be a very versatile addition to any appetizers, sauces and roasts. Select mushrooms that are firm with a fresh, smooth appearance. The surfaces of the mushroom should be dry, but not dried out, and appear plump. A closed veil under the mushroom cap indicates a delicate flavor, while an open veil and exposed gills mean a richer flavor. Store mushrooms in original packaging or in a porous paper bag for prolonged shelf life. Some mushrooms may keep for up to one week in the refrigerator.

Fresh mushrooms should never be frozen, but frozen sautéed mushrooms will keep for up to one month. Brush off any debris from mushrooms with fingers or a damp paper towel, or rinse briefly under running water and pat dry with a paper towel. If the mushroom stem is tough, trim it before using.

For shiitakes, stems should be removed before use. For portabellas, gills may be removed upon preference. Many people prefer to keep the gills intact for more flavors. Mushrooms will release a good amount of water which is suitable in adding to a cream sauce or wine based demiglaze.

Yield; 12 servings


1 pound small cremini or button mushrooms

Salt and ground black pepper

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary

3 tablespoons Bellei Brand balsamic vinegar


Halve or quarter the mushrooms to be small bites. Heat a skillet over medium-high and add the mushrooms to about tablespoon butter. Adjust flavors with salt and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until they begin to release their moisture and brown. 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic, olive oil and rosemary, then cook for another 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vinegar. Cover and let sit for 2 hours.

Frequent question:

Can you pickle mushrooms?

Bring water, vinegar, garlic, pickling spice, salt, and red pepper flakes to a boil in a large pot; add mushrooms. Boil until mushrooms are softened, about 2 minutes. Pour mushroom and liquid into a large jar. Cover and chill for 10 hours to overnight.

How do you saute mushrooms?

Heat olive oil and butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir mushrooms, garlic, cooking wine, teriyaki sauce, garlic salt, and black pepper in the hot oil and butter until mushrooms are lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and simmer until mushrooms are tender, 5 to 8 more minutes.

Master Chef Walter Potenza is the owner of Potenza Ristorante in Cranston, Chef Walters Cooking School and Chef Walters Fine Foods. His fields of expertise include Italian Regional Cooking, Historical Cooking from the Roman Empire to the Unification of Italy, Sephardic Jewish Italian Cooking, Terracotta Cooking, Diabetes and Celiac. Recipient of National and International accolades, awarded by the Italian Government as Ambassador of Italian Gastronomy in the World. Currently on ABC6 with Cooking Show “Eat Well." Check out the Chef's website and blog


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