Posted by: njbrown | April 3, 2010

Mushroom Parmentier (Mushroom Shepherd’s Pie) a la Laura Calder and Moosewood Moussaka Stuffed Eggplant

April 3, 2010

The other day, Laura Calder ventured into vegetarian menus, one of which was Mushroom Parmetier – really, a mushroom Shepherd’s Pie.  Because I am always on the lookout for good vegan recipes, or ones that can be converted to vegan, I decided to try it for dinner last night.  Although I had to substitute dried herbs for fresh, my husband pronounced the mushroom ragout base, "delicious!"   It was hearty and filling, but a bit more sophisticated than the usual Shepherd’s Pie.

Tomorrow for Easter dinner, I’m wavering between a vegan version of the Moosewood Restaurant’s stuffed eggplant Moussaka, and the mushroom Shepherd’s Pie.  (The eggplant Moussaka was served by vegetarian friends a couple of years ago before I began meatless eating, and it was truly delicious.)  For the family members and guests who cannot survive a meal without some form of meat, I’ll have salmon filets.  Along with this will go asparagus with sesame seeds, and a mesclun salad with orange and grapefruit supremes.  Dessert will be vegan chocolate cupcakes topped with chocolate-dipped strawberries.  I used to think cooking was a challenge before my family contained so many dietary restrictions.  This is a whole new world.

My new stove continues to overwhelm me with its power.  Yesterday we had put the air conditioner on in the house, and even with it the kitchen got quite warm using the oven to finish the Shepherd’s Pie.  The price of progress…

Mushroom Parmentier

Yield: 6



  • 2 pounds mushrooms
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, more as needed
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • A handful of chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock or water
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • A handful chopped fresh parsley

Potato Topping

  • 6 medium floury potatoes, such as Yukon gold
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 ounces Comté or Gruyère cheese, cut into very fine dice
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese



  1. Clean and quarter the mushrooms. Heat just two tablespoons of the butter with one tablespoon of the olive oil and sauté the mushrooms until cooked and golden. Remove. Heat the other spoonful of olive oil (adding more if you need it) and sauté the onion until soft. Add the garlic for one minute. Deglaze with the wine and reduce to no more than a spoonful. Add the stock, the thyme, and the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and cook until the stock has reduced by half. Knead together the flour with the last tablespoon of butter and stir it in. Cook until the liquid has thickened to a sauce, a matter of minutes. Stir through the parsley. Spoon the mixture into a gratin dish.

Potato Topping

  1. Steam the potatoes in a covered saucepan with about an inch-2.5-cm water in the bottom, until very tender. Mash with the butter and milk until very smooth, adding more milk if needed. Season with salt and pepper. Stir through the diced cheese. Distribute evenly over the mushroom mixture, and smooth with the back of the spoon (if you want to be very retro-housewife, make patterns with the tines of a fork or make waves with a spoon.) Sprinkle over the Parmesan.
  2. Heat the oven to 425°F/220°C. Bake the gratin until bubbling hot and golden on top, about 15 minutes.



  • 2 eggplants (1-1 1/4 lbs each)
  • 3T olive oil
  • 1c chopped onions
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 t ground cloves
  • 3/4 t cumin
  • 3/4 t cinnamon
  • pinch of cayenne
  • 1 3/4 c canned tomatoes with juice, chopped (14.5 oz can)
  • 1c chopped green bell peppers
  • 1c chopped mushrooms
  • 1t salt
  • 1/4 t pepper
  • 1c bread crumbs
  • 1 3/4 c ricotta cheese
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1c grated Parmesan cheese


 1. Preheat oven to 400. Lightly oil baking tray.

2. Slice eggplants in half lengthwise. Score the flesh of each half with paring knife, being careful not to pierce skin. Use spoon to scoop out flesh and leave about 1/2" thick shell. Reserve flesh to use in filling.

3. Brush eggplant shells with 1T of oil and sprinkle lightly with salt. Place face up on prepared baking tray and bake for about 20 minutes, until very tender.

4. Meanwhile, heat remaining oil in nonreactive saucepan. Saute onions until translucent, 8-10 minutes. Add garlic, cloves, cumin, cinnamon, and cayenne and continue to saute for about 1 minute. Cut reserved eggplant flesh into small cubes and add them. Saute about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add tomatoes, bell peppers, and mushrooms. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and mix in salt, black pepper, bread crumbs, and 3/4 c of ricotta cheese. Set filling aside.

 5. When eggplant shells are done, remove from oven and reduce temperature to 350. In mixing bowl, beat egg whites until they are stiff and fold them into the remaining c of ricotta cheese.

6. Fill each shell with 1 1/4c of vegetable filling. Evenly cover with ricotta custard and then grated cheese. Return baking tray of stuffed eggplant to oven and bake for ~ 30 min, until puffed and lightly golden on top.




  1. Hi njbrown! I made your mushroom paramentier, I did add beef tips, it is super. I think I would use Burgundy wine next time, what kind of red wine did you use?

    • Hi Jane –

      I used a Merlot. Beef would have been wonderful, but my vegan daughter wouldn’t have been able to eat it.

      Best wishes,


  2. I am going to make the Mushroom Shepard’s Pie next Monday, sounds so delish! I will let you know how mine comes out. Thank you!

    • Do let me know.

      Best wishes,


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: