4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
4 bay leaves
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
12 ounces button mushrooms, quartered or halved if large, stems trimmed
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 tablespoon water
coarse sea salt, to taste


In a small, heavy saucepan combine 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the pepper, bay leaves and 1/2 tablespoon of vinegar. Warm over a very low flame. Add the mushrooms and 2 sprigs of thyme. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and gently shake the pan to coat the mushrooms.

Cook the mushrooms for 10 minutes, or until just changing color and still a little firm. During cooking, stir once or twice and add the water when the pan gets too dry.

Transfer everything to a bowl. Pour the remaining olive oil and vinegar over the mushrooms. Cover and set aside for at least 1 hour. Before serving, discard the thyme sprigs and transfer mushrooms to a serving plate. Sprinkle with salt and the leaves from the remaining thyme sprig.