Escabeche of Mushrooms with Polenta

  • Active Time 30m
  • Total Time 30m

Serves 4

In Spain and Mexico, fish and other perishable foods are cooked in a seasoned vinegar mixture; these escabeche are then served warm or, more commonly, eaten the next day at room temperature. Though neither mushrooms nor red cabbage can claim to be particularly perishable, they are delicious given the same tangy treatment.


  • For the Polenta:
  • 6 1/2 cups water
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/3 cups coarse or medium cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • For the Escabeche:
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup canned diced tomatoes with their juice (from 1 15-ounce can)
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar or wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 jalapeno chili, seeds and ribs removed, sliced

  • 1 pound mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps sliced
  • 1/2 pound red cabbage (about 1/4 head), shredded (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro



In a medium saucepan, bring 4 1/2 cups of the water and 1 teaspoon of the salt to a boil. Add the cornmeal in a slow stream, whisking. Whisk in the butter. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until the polenta is very thick, about 20 minutes. Cover to keep warm.


Meanwhile, in a large deep frying pan, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, vinegar, oregano and jalapeno. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes.

Add all the mushrooms, the cabbage and 1 cup of the water to the pan. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to moderately low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Add the remaining 1 cup water and 2 teaspoons salt and simmer, covered, until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes more. Stir in the cilantro and serve over the polenta.


Made from tempranillo, Spain's greatest red grape, Riojas offer wonderful concentrated roasted-berry flavors. Long aging in oak barrels gives them a supple, round texture and a complex spiciness that makes them great accompaniment for this escabeche.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Food and Wine. All rights reserved.

RecID 2945

nutrition information per serving

372 calories; 18g total fat; 16mg cholesterol; 1872mg sodium; 48g carbohydrates; 7g fiber; 8g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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