Simple Sautéed Mushrooms With Basil


Simple is best in almost every situation. That also applies to cooking.  Minimal ingredients allow you to enjoy each individual flavor and really taste what you’re eating for what it is. I had baby portobello mushrooms in the fridge and I had planned to make stuffed mushrooms but I didn’t have much time last week and I didn’t want to deal with the mess.

So, I thought to just sautée the mushrooms in butter. I had basil from the garden on the counter and I garnished with that. The earthy flavor of the mushrooms with the rich butter is satisfying. And the bright basil herb as an accent seasoning gave the dish a nice contrasting flavor. Fresh black pepper is a must! That’s been my go-to lately in all my cooking. There’s a huge taste difference with freshly ground pepper and it only takes an extra minute.

I ate the mushrooms stand-alone for dinner. This can work as a nice side dish as well. If you’re looking for a hearty meal, after sautéing the mushrooms, chop them and add to pasta with a liberal amount of olive oil, lots of basil, salt and fresh pepper –  delicious.

Here’s the recipe for a quick healthy weeknight meal. And it’s vegetarian!

Sautéed Mushrooms with Basil
(Serves 2)

2 8oz containers of baby portobello mushrooms – whole
5-6 tablespoons butter
Fresh ground pepper
Two handfuls of basil (or to taste)


Wash the mushrooms: Once upon a time I used the damp paper towel method to clean away dirt on mushrooms. I learned a few years ago that it’s ok to dunk n’ wash, right before you’re going to cook them. Think “quick dip, not surfing sesh.” Mushrooms are made of 90% water, therefore it’s difficult for them to absorb more moisture in a short period of time.

Fill a kitchen bowl with water. Put all the mushrooms in the bowl and twirl around. You’ll see the dirt fall off and sink to the bottom. Do this for about 30 seconds. Remove the mushrooms and gently, but thoroughly pat dry with paper towels. It’s a fast little trick!

Sautée: Heat a skillet on the stove top to medium. Melt the butter. Add in the mushrooms, salt and pepper. Sautée for 10-15 minutes until cooked and browned. Add more fresh pepper once plated and garnish with chopped basil. Eat!

Mushroom Pro-tip: If the mushrooms you buy are in a container covered with plastic, remove them and keep the mushrooms in a brown paper bag in the fridge. This way the moisture is absorbed by the paper. Kept in plastic, the locked-in moisture will turn the mushrooms brown and they will spoil fast. Mushrooms stored in a brown bag can last three times as long.


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