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Sauteed Mushrooms

From the Moosewood Restaurant New Classics cookbook

8 cups assorted mushrooms*
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 large garlic cloves, minced or pressed
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 teaspoons dried thyme (or 1 tablespoon fresh)
1/3 cup dry wine or sherry, marsala, vegetable broth, or tomato juice
ground black pepper to taste

*We suggest shiitake, oyster, morels, cremini, chanterelles, portobellos, porcini, or golden trumpets. About 1 ½ pounds altogether.

Trim the mushroom stem ends. Remove and discard shiitake stems because they don’t soften when cooked. Leave small shiitake caps whole; cut the larger ones in half. Separate oyster mushrooms and other mushrooms that grow in clumps into smaller bunches. Chop portobellos into 1-inch pieces. Cut other mushrooms lengthwise, in fairly large halves or quarters. Separate the mushrooms into two groups: the tougher ones, like the portobellos, oysters, porcini, and cremini, and the more tender, like the shiitake, morels, chanterelles, and golden trumpets. Gently wipe off any grit clinging to the mushrooms with a soft brush or a damp towel without immersing or rinsing them.

If you have a 12-inch skillet, you can cook all the mushrooms together, pushing the first batch to the sides of the skillet while you sauté the more delicate batch in the middle. If not, use two frying pans and divide the mushrooms and other ingredients between them. Avoid overcrowding; it prevents the mushrooms from searing properly. As a result, they cook too slowly and release too many juices.

Heat the skillet on high heat until smoking. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and the sturdier group of mushrooms. Saute on high heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Push those mushrooms to the side and add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, the rest of the mushrooms and the garlic. Lower the heat and sauté, stirring frequently, for another 5 to 10 minutes, until the mushrooms exude some juice and begin to shrink.

Stir in the salt, parsley and thyme. Return the pan to high heat and add the wine or other liquid. Scrape the bottom of the pan to stir up any browned mushroom juices and cook until the liquid is nearly evaporated, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and add pepper to taste. Serve hot from the skillet or make ahead and reheat gently to serve.

Serves 4.

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