By Cheryl Forberg, RD
Growing up in Minnesota, my first taste of mushrooms wasn’t terribly gourmet. Canned cream of mushroom soup was served often (and used regularly in everything from Beef Stroganoff to Tuna Casserole). From time to time, we did have real mushrooms, but they were usually brown or button mushrooms and sometimes they were canned too.
Moving to California, and becoming a chef, dramatically changed my exposure to different types of mushrooms as well as different applications. Pizza, pasta, (real) mushroom soup, omelets and sautés are just a few of the ways I learned to enjoy them.
During my culinary apprenticeship in France, I worked in 4 different restaurants, each in a different region. I had exposure to the delicious differences between the varied local ingredients as well as different techniques. While working in Tours, in the Loire valley, I worked my way up to the fish station, at a restaurant called Jean Bardet. It seemed like every single ingredient was delivered fresh, every day. There wasn’t anything on the menu that I didn’t love.
I learned to make a few different side dishes to serve with my fish courses, but my favorite was sautéed mushrooms. I used exclusively chanterelles. But not just golden chanterelles; we also had black chanterelles, better known in France as Trompettes de la Mort (Trumpets of the Dead).
The mushrooms were quickly sautéed in hot butter and olive oil and seasoned with salt and white pepper. When they were just browned and tender, I added finely chopped shallots and Italian parsley. Simple, delicious and so easy to prepare. I hope you’ll enjoy this recipe with fish, chicken, beef, with pasta or just plain. In fact, I usually make more than I need so I can enjoy them again, a different way the next day.
Sautéed Mushrooms with Shallots and Italian Parsley
I am using Abalone mushrooms today, because I’m lucky enough to have them on hand. But you can use shiitake, cremini, chanterelles or any combination you like. Be sure to add the shallots and parsley at the very end. The shallots will barely be softened, and the parsley will stay bright. Also, be sure to use a large enough pan. If the mushrooms are crowded, they will not color or cook evenly. If your pan is small, divide this into 2 batches – it’ll only take a couple minutes longer.
Serves 4 as a sidedish
½ - 1 T butter
½ - 1 T olive oil
3 cups roughly chopped mushrooms (approx. 8 ounces)
2 T finely chopped shallots
2 T roughly chopped Italian parsley
Salt and Pepper
Heat butter and oil in a sauté pan over medium high heat.
When the butter is foaming and just starting to brown, add the mushrooms and toss to cover evenly with butter and oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Sauté for a few minutes, tossing or stirring a few times, until the mushrooms are lightly browned and tender. Add the shallots and the parsley. Toss or stir well and remove from heat. Add more salt if necessary. Serve hot.