Gather around with pens, forks and knives as finally I am sharing my way overdue, favourite Italian, creamy garlic mushroom recipe! It is rich and oozes warming flavours like no other garlic mushrooms you’ve ever tried. I’ll give you all my tips on how to get the creaminess and the seasoning in balance and share how to make this amazing dish work as a side, main course or a starter.
Today’s creamy garlic mushrooms on sourdough toast is a tasty, adaptable, vegetarian dish, which most of us have had a chance to try. Some recipes and methods are better than others. I believe that it all comes down to the type of mushrooms you use and proper seasoning.
What mushrooms are best for the best creamy sauteed garlic mushrooms?
This article lists pretty much every type of mushroom you need to know about and what kind of cooking it takes best. For my creamy garlic mushrooms recipe I suggest you go with either:
- Hen of the Woods
- Shitaki & Morels as well, but go with any of the ones above as a first choice if you can.
What is the best seasoning for sauteed mushrooms?
- Salt & Pepper – both are a must and this was never more true than when it comes to mushroom dishes.
- Thyme – always! It works like a charm with both mushrooms and garlic.
- Garlic – must be real, fresh, raw and sauteed before mushrooms land in that pan. If you do it the other way round, the juices from the mushrooms will boil your garlic, which intensifies its flavour to the point where it can actually overpower the mushrooms and ruin the dish all together.
- Balsamic vinegar – it cuts through the richness and balances the earthiness of both garlic and mushrooms in a much more considerate way than a citrus juice or a regular vinegar does.
- Chilli – dry or fresh, it really plays nicely and adds to my mushroom dish.
- Fresh herbs like chives and parsley – add them when you’re almost done cooking, they both make an amazing difference and lighten things up!
- Parmesan cheese – it just has a thing for mushrooms and I tend to give in with a light dusting over a plated mushroom dish.
… And if you want your sautéed mushrooms to be lovely and creamy cook them in butter and creme fraiche. I hope you’re not on a diet, but oil just does not do mushrooms justice.
In sympathetic proportions to the type of mushrooms you’re cooking with, all of those above will add a magic touch and help you create the most amazing, creamy, sauteed, Italian garlic mushrooms. You can certainly pick or skip some of them, but if you follow the recipe at the bottom of this post you might end up wanting to have it like I do: as a main course!
How to successfully serve garlic mushrooms as a starter, main course or a side dish?
When it comes to easy, vegetarian mushroom starter recipes at the beginning of a hearty, multiple course feast, creamy garlic mushrooms served over a slice of toasted sourdough can be a great choice. It’s easy and quick to make and certainly doesn’t lack in flavour. However, when it comes to richness and strength or flavours, it is a big act to follow and I’d avoid serving any delicately flavoured main course afterwards. Steak, pie, warming stew, chilli con carne, bean jar – absolutely! But any delicate fish or other airy-fairy main course should be left for another occasion.
This recipe is designed for either 6 starters of 2 main course servings. For either, I’d suggest to serve the garlic mushrooms on flat plates, over toasted, but unbuttered slice/s sourdough. There is plenty of creamy sauce to moisten the bread. If bread is served separately everyone will be very likely to ask/reach for butter, which will make the first course heavier than it needs to be. BTW, any bread is fine, but I love sourdough and I think that the flavours work together much better than with plain white or brown bread.
If you want to serve these amazing mushrooms as a side dish, though, you’ll probably want to skip sourdough toast all together.
- 450g mushrooms (Portobello, Cremini, Porcini, Hen of the Woods), cleaned and sliced thickly
- 50g salted butter
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, leaves only finely chopped
- 4 large garlic cloves, raw, finely chopped (but not minced)
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 6 oz/170g creme fraiche (double cream would be my second choice)
- Salt & Pepper, to taste
- ¼ teaspoon chilli flakes (½ teaspoon fresh, deseeded chilli), 1 tablespoons fresh chives, 2 tablespoon fresh parsley leaves (finely chopped), dusting of freshly grated Parmesan cheese to serve
- Melt half the butter in a large pan set over a medium-low heat. Add all garlic and allow it to sizzle for about two minutes before adding half the mushrooms. The aim is not to overcrowd the mushrooms and to let them sauté and brown gently. After mushrooms have released their juices you can turn the heat up to help most of the moisture evaporate and allow mushrooms to brown. Turn the heat back down to medium low and remove cooked mushrooms and garlic with a slotted spoon into a bowl and reserve.
- Add rest of butter, thyme leaves and rest of mushrooms (and chilli if desired) into the pan and cook until most of moisture released by mushrooms has evaporated and you see them starting to brownin nicely.
- Return mushrooms and garlic you set aside into the pan. (This is when you might want to add chives if you like.) Stir in creme fraiche, balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper and cover pan with a lid for 2 minutes.
- Turn the heat up to medium, remove the lid and stir your mushrooms. You should notice after a short while that the sauce starts to thicken. Keep stirring, coating the mushrooms in the sauce and turn the heat off when the desired consistency of the sauce is achieved. Adjust seasoning with salt & pepper.
- Spoon mushrooms over toasted sourdough and serve with a sprinkle of freshly chopped parsley leaves and a light dusting of finely grated Parmesan.