Everybody's Mushroom Gravy

Vegan and gluten-free

Everyone needs gravy once in a while. But for people who eat neither meat nor wheat and also avoid dairy, it can be a gravy desert out there. Here, then, is a delicious, inclusive recipe that I hope will tie together the loose ends of your dinner and/or your soul. Even meat, dairy, and wheat lovers will find this hits the spot. 

  • This recipe stores well in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for a week. It reheats easily, stirred over low heat. Use it anywhere you would gravy -- on mashed potatoes, with biscuits, over plain steamed vegetables. 
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 1 medium onion, finely minced (1 cup) 
  • 1/4 heaping teaspoon rubbed dried sage 
  • 1/4 heaping teaspoon dried thyme 
  • 1 teaspoon minced or crushed garlic 
  • 10 medium-large mushrooms, wiped clean and minced (a generous 1/2 pound) 
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch 
  • 1 quart low-sodium vegetable stock 
  • Gluten-free soy sauce to taste (optional) 
  • Black pepper

1) Place a medium saucepan over medium heat for about a minute, then add the oil and swirl to coat the pan. Toss in the onion and dried herbs, and sauté for 5 minutes, or until the onion softens.

2) Stir in the garlic, and cook, stirring often, for another minute or so, until the garlic disappears into the mix visually and gives off an aroma.

3) Add the mushrooms and salt, stir to distribute, and cover the pot. Cook for 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring once in a while, until the mushrooms cook down into the onion, and they give off a visible amount of juices.

4) Meanwhile, place the cornstarch in a small bowl, and slowly pour in about a cup of the stock, stirring constantly with a small whisk until the mixture is completely smooth.

5) Pour the rest of the stock into the mushroom mixture and let it come to a boil uncovered over medium heat. When it boils, turn the heat to medium-low, and drizzle in the cornstarch slurry, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.

6) Keep cooking, stirring very often, for another 10 minutes, or until the mixture is glossy and gently thickened. Add soy sauce to taste, if desired, and season liberally with black pepper. Serve hot. 

From The Heart of the Plate by Mollie Katzen, Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.

Makes 6-8 servings
  • Nordic cuisine: Leave the herring, take the taco quiche

    With almost 800 pages of recipes and striking photography, Magnus Nilsson's The Nordic Cookbook is the definitive work on the food cultures of his native land. He spoke with Melissa Clark about the impact winter has on the Nordic countries, the common source of everyone's family herring recipe, and the enduring popularity of taco quiche.

Top Recipes

Reviving an 8,000-year-old winemaking tradition in Georgia

John Wurdeman studied music and art before becoming a winemaker in the country of Georgia. His winery, Pheasant's Tears, has revived an 8,000-year-old Georgian winemaking tradition. He tells Melissa Clark what brought him there, the myriad varieties of Georgian wines, and the integral part they play in that country's meals.