February 10, 2019

Setas al Ajillo

Recipe: Setas Al Ajillo

(Mushrooms with garlic)
Serves 2 to 4| Prep Time 1/4 hour | Resting Time 10 minutes | Cooking Time 45 minutes total


  • 400 gr crimini or white button mushrooms
  • 8 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup Spanish olive oil
  • 2 tbsp parsley
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 baguette sliced thin and cut up to bite size pieces.
  • 1 tbsp butter (optional)
  • 1/4 cup red or white wine (optional)


  1. Stem the mushrooms and cut into bite size pieces.
  2. Just before cooking them wash and rinse to remove any dirt.
  3. Place abundant olive oil in a large pan and heat to medium.
  4. Place the garlic in the oil for 30 seconds making sure it does not brown. Immediately drain the oil through a sieve into a bowl. Reserve the garlic and the oil separately, The oil is now infused with garlic taste. This will be important for the next step.
  5. Place the oil back in the pan, turn the heat to high. When the oil is very hot (but not burning) place the mushrooms in the pan, spread them around and cook until they caramelize, moving them around occasionally so all the surfaces have a chance to be in touch with the hot bottom of your pan. Do not add salt as this would make the mushrooms release water and it would take a long time for that water to evaporate, preventing the mushrooms from browning.
  6. When the mushrooms have browned sufficiently turn the heat off and return the reserved garlic to the pan.
  7. Immediately add the lemon juice, followed by the parsley.
  8. Add salt, taste and adjust if necessary. You can decide if you need more lemon juice, more salt or more parsley. Serve on a large platter with toothpicks and some bread on the side so guests can mop up the juices.

You can make this in a less traditional way, and take the dish across the Pyrenees, if you like, by adding wine and butter. Here’s how:

  1. Instead of adding lemon juice add wine and cook until the alcohol evaporates and is reduced substantially.
  2. Off heat, add butter and swirl around until it emulsifies into the wine. Add salt at this point and adjust to taste.


Even people who claim not to like mushrooms rave over how delicious this dish is.

Because it is very simple, attention to detail is very important. Choose the best ingredients you can get and treat them with care and respect.

The mushrooms and the garlic cook at different temperatures. Learning to do this dish properly can teach you a lot about cooking technique.

Because we want the mushrooms to caramelize quickly, we avoid salting them at the beginning to prevent their water to come to the surface.

We offer a variation, taking the liberty to travel across the Pyrenees and introduce a “Frenchier” version of this traditional dish. Equally delicious and very different!

Learn to make this and much more during our cooking class :

A Trip to Spain