Pan-Cooked (Sautéed) Mushrooms

Not just mushrooms, but virtually any vegetable takes well to sautéing.
TIME 30 to 45 minutes
MAKES 4 servings (about 2 cups)
1 pound any fresh mushrooms
¼ cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ to ½ cup dry white wine or water
1 teaspoon minced garlic
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley leaves

1 Rinse the mushrooms thoroughly and trim them. Set them round side up and cut downward into slices as thick or thin as you want (¼ inch thick is a good place to start).

2 Put the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When it’s hot, add the mushrooms and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms have released their liquid, become tender, and the pan is beginning to dry out again, 10 to 15 minutes.

3 If you want the mushrooms to have a little sauce, pour in ½ cup wine. For moist mushrooms without any sauce, stir in ¼ cup. Let the liquid bubble and evaporate for 1 minute, stirring the bottom of the pan to scrape up any browned bits, then turn the heat down to low.

4 When the mushrooms are done as you like, stir in the garlic and parsley and cook for just 1 minute more. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt or pepper and serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.

  • Asian-Style Sautéed Mushrooms In Step 2, use peanut oil instead of olive oil, add 1 small dried hot chile to the skillet along with the mushrooms, and use lots of black pepper. In Step 3, use water instead of wine. In Step 4, add 1 tablespoon soy sauce along with the garlic and use cilantro instead of parsley.

  • For crisp, chewy mushrooms, don’t add liquid in Step 3; instead, keep cooking until they darken and become crisp around the edges, another 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Use the techniques described in this recipe to pan-cook—sauté—all sorts of other vegetables. Most won’t release as much water as mushrooms. And since some will become tender in just a couple minutes, check them frequently for doneness. In order of how fast they cook: spinach or other tender greens, peas and snow peas, bean sprouts, zucchini, green beans, eggplant, cabbage, and sturdy greens like kale or chard (remove and chop the stems and give them a head start if you don’t want them too crisp).

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