Mushrooms are one of my favorite vegetables. I love every single kind of mushroom, literally. And there is such a huge variety that you never can get bored. Mushrooms are perfect for making dishes packed with rich, meaty flavor and umami. I love making mushroom soup, mushroom ragú, mushroom sauce, mushroom risotto and the base of all of these recipes is perfectly Sautéed Wild Mushrooms.
I realize this is not the most exciting recipe but it is very important. Don’t be mistaken, Sautéed Wild Mushrooms are not the easiest thing to cook and it’s actually the method that makes the fundamental difference. We’ve all ordered a side of mushrooms in a restaurant and these gray, soggy, tasteless mushrooms hit the table. Don’t make that mistake. Don’t be that guy. Make them right the first time.
For this recipe I used 3 types of organic mushrooms: portobello, king trumpet and white button mushrooms. These beauties were provided by Goodness Greeness, an organic produce distributor located in Chicago. They have been in the organic produce business since 1991 and are the experts in fresh, local and family-farmed food. Thanks Goodness for the mushrooms! They were gorgeous!
Back to the recipe. So like I said, I used 3 types of mushrooms in this instance but you can use more or less and this method works for almost any types of mushroom. So feel free to use any types you like—cremini, oyster, shiitake, maitake, enoki, beech, etc. In addition to the mushrooms you’ll need some other technical ingredients: extra virgin olive oil, shallots, thyme, garlic and red wine vinegar. Very serious stuff.
So here’s a few pointers to keep in mind when sautéing mushrooms.
- You’ll need to use a larger pan than you think and will possibly cook the mushrooms in batches (the key is not to over crowd the pan)
- Use a thin coat of oil and if need be add more oil but don’t pan-fry your mushrooms
- The heat should be medium-high almost the entire time you cook
- Don’t move the mushrooms around too much, you want the mushrooms to sear and brown and have good contact with the sauté pan
- Salt the mushrooms after they have sautéed for at least 5-6 minutes
Another small note as well. I love the addition of acidity with mushrooms. I think it just brings out their rich, juicy flavor. For this recipe, I decided to use red wine vinegar because I always have it on-hand and I love the flavor. However, you can use white wine, red wine, lemon juice or even white wine vinegar. You just want to make sure you finish the mushrooms with some sort of acid (and salt).
I’ll say it again, this is a very simple recipe with extremely rewarding results. Once you have this method down you can use these mushrooms in so many different dishes.
- 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
- 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
- 6 oz white button mushrooms, sliced
- 4 oz king trumpet mushrooms, sliced
- 6 oz portobello mushrooms, sliced
- 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat.
- Add 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil.
- Next add the sliced shallots and sauté for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the sliced garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
- Next turn the heat up until medium-high and add enough mushrooms so there is one even layer. Do not overcrowd the pan!
- Let the mushrooms sear and cook without moving them for at least 2 minutes.
- Once the mushrooms are brown on one side you can start stirring them.
- Season the mushrooms with salt and pepper and add the thyme sprigs.
- Continue to cook the mushrooms for another 6-8 minutes or until the mushrooms are cooked through and have released all of their liquid.
- To finish add the red wine vinegar and cook until it's almost evaporated. Remove the thyme sprigs and enjoy.