Basic Sautéed Mushrooms

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

Appears in

Cooking One on One

Cooking One on One

By John Ash

Published 2004

  • About

Certainly the simplest, yet to my taste, the most delicious way to prepare mushrooms whether cultivated or wild is to sauté them quickly in a little butter and neutral vegetable oil. The goal here is to use high enough heat and cook a small enough quantity to allow their moisture to evaporate quickly, so the mushrooms will brown. Too often I see home cooks sauté too many mushrooms over too low a heat, and the mushrooms just sit there and steam and “burble,” never developing their potential flavor. Even button mushrooms, which many cookbooks malign, can be pretty flavorful if you sauté them correctly and caramelize them a bit (or a lot). I like to sauté them to the point where they are deeply browned and beginning to crisp, almost like a chip. The flavor is fantastic!

Method

A Basic Sauté of Mushrooms

Slice cleaned mushrooms thickly (a little more than ⅛ inch). Add equal parts butter and oil to a large sauté pan—about 1 tablespoon of each for 3 cups of sliced mushrooms should be about right. The pan should be large enough to hold the mushrooms in a layer no more than 2 slices deep. If you are doing a lot of mushrooms, then do them in batches.

Heat the oil and butter over medium-high heat until the butter just begins to color. (The coloring of the butter gives a rich, nutty flavor but be careful not to burn it.) Add the mushrooms, turn the heat up to high, and sauté the mushrooms. At first they may appear a bit dry, but soon they will begin to release their moisture.

Add a few drops of oil if necessary. Stir and continue to sauté until the mushrooms are golden brown and very fragrant. Season with salt and pepper and stir in some chopped fresh herbs if you’d like: chives, parsley, and basil are all good.