Exotic Mushroom Sauté

It seems a bit silly to actually post a recipe as simple as this, but I believe that this simple preparation, showcasing the mushroom, is absolutely divine. I feel if I write about it, you will feel inclined to give it a try next time you are face to face with these delectable beauties.

This last time I got mushrooms, I got a mixture of about four different varieties. There is one mushroom that I was unfamiliar with until just recently, known as the lion’s mane. This mushroom looks like a small brain or a cauliflower but it has an incredible fragrance, very floral.

I got a pound/ half kilo of lion’s mane, shitake, oyster and king oyster mushrooms. All their different shapes, sizes and hues makes them look like they are from some distant planet.

If you happen to live in Colorado or if you just want to read more about these exotic gems, visit Hazel Dell Mushrooms at the Boulder Farmer’s Market or online.

Now, onto the cooking part. There are no hard and fast rules for this sauté at all. If you can’t find or don’t have the exotic mushrooms, use any type you can find. All mushrooms are tasty. Mushrooms tend to shrink a lot after cooking, so what may look like a huge, heaping pile of mushrooms, will reduce to a plateful.
One pound/half kilo of mushrooms was enough for the six of us as a side dish.

Exotic Mushroom Sauté

1lb/half kilo mushrooms, wild, exotic or plain button
2 tablespoons butter, unsalted
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried
salt and pepper to taste

Most of the time the mushrooms just need a wiping with a damp paper towel or tea towel. Do not soak mushrooms or they will absorb water like sponges. Mushrooms these days, are cultivated in sterile soil or mediums and they only require a wipe down. There is no reason to give them a bath and a severe scrub down.

Slice the mushrooms.

Heat a frying pan on medium high heat and add the olive oil and butter.
Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, being careful not to burn.
Add the mushrooms and the thyme.

Sauté the mushrooms until all their liquid has been released and they start to brown. If you feel the pan needs more oil, add a teaspoon or so more. Mushrooms tend to soak up the oil, but once they brown they do release it, so don’t add too much or you will end up with a greasy dish (of course, you could always use your bread to soak up all the delicious, garlicky oil)
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve as a side dish with grilled chicken or a steak.
We like it as a topping on some fresh, crusty ciabatta or baguette.
The taste of the mushrooms is highlighted when you prepare it simply and serve it simply without any heavy sauces or spices.

I hope you seek out these interesting, tasty pieces of culinary delight and try them. If you are a mushroom lover like me, you will find them, as my six year old son puts it, “delicious, delectable and dee–li–ghth–ful!”

Thanks for reading!