Roasted Mushrooms in Ata Din Din
Earthy mushrooms hold their own among a piquant red pepper relish — a riot of flavors. The relish’s base is known in Yoruba as ata din din, a condiment like sauce common throughout West Africa made from ground bell pepper, onions, chiles and sometimes tomatoes. Roast the mushrooms until lightly browned and crisp, as they absorb a lot more flavor when they've been slightly dehydrated. Pickled onion adds crunch and a hint of acid, and a scattering of fresh herbs gives it all a refreshing lightness, while being a pretty garnish. Serve over steamed rice and fried sweet plantains, or reserve as a vegetable filling for moin moin.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 2pounds mixed mushrooms, such as button, cremini, oyster, maitake and shiitake, cleaned, trimmed and torn or cut into 2-inch pieces, if large
- 8thyme sprigs
- ½cup neutral oil, such as grapeseed or canola
- Kosher salt (Diamond Crystal)
- 1small red onion, peeled, trimmed and halved lengthwise
- 3tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1(12-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained
- 2garlic cloves, peeled
- 1(1-inch) piece ginger, scrubbed and cut into slices
- 1red scotch bonnet or habanero chile, cut in half lengthwise
- ½cup chopped fresh mixed herbs, such as cilantro, dill or parsley, or a combination
Step 1Heat oven to 425 degrees.
Step 2Spread the mushrooms and thyme sprigs in an even layer on a sheet pan and drizzle with 1/4 cup oil. Season with salt and, using your hands, toss to coat. Roast, turning the pan halfway through and tossing the mushrooms, until mushrooms are golden brown and crisp along the edges, about 25 to 35 minutes.
Step 3Meanwhile, prepare the ata din din: As the mushrooms roast, finely chop half of the red onion and transfer it to a small bowl. Add the vinegar, season with a pinch of salt and set aside to pickle while you continue cooking. Using a food processor, coarsely chop the remaining half onion, the roasted red peppers, garlic and ginger. Alternatively, you can chop each ingredient with a sharp knife.
Step 4In a large (12-inch) skillet, heat the remaining 1/4 cup oil over medium. Add the red-pepper mixture and chile halves to the skillet and bring up to a simmer. Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until any liquid from the vegetables evaporates and the relish turns a shade darker, about 8 to 10 minutes. Season with salt. Remove the thyme sprigs from the mushrooms and add the mushrooms to the red-pepper relish. Stir to combine.
Step 5Remove from heat, discard the chile pieces and add in the chopped herbs. Stir to combine. Drain the pickled red onion and top the mushrooms with it. Serve hot, alongside some steamed rice or a grain of your choice and fried sweet plantains.