Perfectly sautéed mushrooms are tender, brown, and never soggy. Get browned and tender mushrooms and avoid mushrooms stewed in their own juices by following this simple recipe.
While exact amounts are called for, this is more of a technique than a recipe, so feel free to adjust for the amount of mushrooms you have on hand—if you scale up, though be sure to use a pan that is wide enough to hold all the mushrooms in a single layer for the best results and to make sure the mushrooms truly sauté rather than stew.
- 8 ounces fresh mushrooms
- Oil for the pan
- Salt to taste
- Chopped parsley to taste for garnish
- Brush the mushrooms clean; many mushrooms can be easily cleaned with a very slightly damp paper towel. If you have mushrooms that seem too dirty for such gentle treatment: Put them in a basin or bowl of cool water, swish them around and rub any dirt off that requires it, then lift the mushrooms out of the water and onto a clean kitchen towel or layers of paper towels. (Don't pour them into a colander, which would dump the dirty water onto the clean mushrooms!) Pat the rinsed mushrooms dry. Seriously. You want to start with completely dry mushrooms.
- Halve, quarter, slice, or chop the mushrooms as you like. You can cook smaller mushrooms whole (yum!).
- Heat a large frying pan or skillet over high heat. Choose a pan that is wide enough to hold the mushrooms in a single layer.
- Once the pan is hot, add just enough oil to coat the bottom.
- Add the mushrooms to the hot pan and cook, keeping heat high, stirring frequently to help any liquid the mushrooms give off evaporate as quickly as possible.
- Sprinkle the mushrooms with salt and keep cooking until the mushrooms are tender and browned, about 5 minutes.
- Add chopped parsley, if you like, just before removing from the pan, stir to let the parsley wilt, and transfer to a serving platter.
- Add a knob of butter to the pan a few minutes before the mushrooms are done cooking for a richer flavor.
- Bring out the earthiness of mushrooms with a generous grinding or two of black pepper.
- Throw in a clove of minced garlic for the last few minutes of cooking; if you have a sprig to two of fresh thyme, that adds a perfectly paired flavor, too.
- Make them creamy by pouring in 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream once the mushrooms are browned—cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms are coated and the cream is reduced to a clinging sauce.