Mushrooms with Caramelized Shallots & Fresh Thyme

November 16, 2015
6 Ratings
Photo by Alpha Smoot
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Serves 6-8
Author Notes

This recipe rewards patience and attention to detail. If you are willing to put in the extra effort by picking fresh thyme and slowly caramelizing shallots, you will be rewarded with tantalizingly flavorful mushrooms. The other key to this dish is cooking the mushrooms in batches using an extremely hot pan. If you overcrowd the pan with mushrooms or don’t get your pan hot enough, your mushrooms will taste steamed instead of seared. You know you're doing it correctly when you find yourself running to temporarily take the batteries out of your smoke alarm. Seriously. —Josh Cohen

What You'll Need
  • 4 pounds of your favorite varieties of mushrooms (I prefer some combination of crimini, royal trumpet, maitake, and oyster mushrooms)
  • 1 grapeseed oil
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 pound shallots, cleaned and sliced thin
  • 1 splash olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  1. Set a large skillet over medium heat. Add enough olive oil to thinly coat the surface of the skillet. Add the shallots, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring regularly, until the shallots soften and begin to turn translucent. Turn the heat down to low, and continue stirring occasionally, until the shallots are soft, sweet, and caramelized. This may take 30 to 45 minutes.
  2. If your mushrooms are gritty or dirty, use a damp rag or paper towel to gently wipe them clean. Cut the mushrooms into large bite-size pieces. Some mushroom varieties can be torn with your hands rather than cut with a knife. For example, I like to break maitake mushrooms into large chunks and tear oyster mushrooms into slivers. These hand-torn pieces should approximate the original shape of the mushroom.
  3. While the shallots are cooking, set a large skillet over high heat. Add enough grapeseed oil to thinly coat the surface of the skillet. When the oil begins to smoke, add enough mushrooms to fill the skillet in a single even layer. Let the mushrooms sear, undisturbed, until the bottoms of the mushrooms begin to caramelize. Toss the mushrooms in the skillet and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are browned and beginning to crisp around the edges. Transfer the hot mushrooms to a mixing bowl, and using a fine microplane, grate half a clove of garlic over the mushrooms. Toss the mushrooms with the microplaned garlic, and season with salt. Repeat this step with subsequent batches of mushrooms until all the mushrooms have been cooked.
  4. Combine the mushrooms with the caramelized shallots. Add the thyme, cayenne, and vinegar. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as necessary. This dish can be served hot or at room temperature. To reheat the mushrooms, transfer them to a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper and cook at in the oven at 350° F for approximately 5 minutes.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Tom Provost
    Tom Provost
  • elamb
  • Nora
  • Rebekah Goodgame
    Rebekah Goodgame
  • Penny Crocker Patterson
    Penny Crocker Patterson

18 Reviews

mbobden November 2, 2021
Josh, any chance this can be obtained via a very hot gas grill on a pad, disposable sheet pan or cast iron pan? Your expert opinion would be helpful. Thank you.
Josh C. November 3, 2021
A cast iron skillet on a very hot gas grill should work, but I would avoid trying this with a disposable sheet pan. Good luck!
Tom P. September 4, 2021
OK... I was very suspect reading the recipe. But last night I had the ingredients and was cooking Tomahawk Rib-eyes, and I love mushrooms with steak, so gave it a try. WOW. This. Is. Fabulous. The long cook on the shallots is a must. And don't worry about getting the mushrooms as cooked down as perhaps might be usual. I will be making this for the rest of my life.
elamb March 22, 2021
This turned out really good for us. We will def be making this again
Nora November 23, 2020
I can imagine how delicious this is and I can spend time and ingredients. But I'm not clear on how to use it. Serve as a vegetable side? Over pasta or cheese grits? In an omelet? All of the above?
ATKOgirl July 24, 2020
These were fantastic. It was a very large recipe, but they reheated in the oven beautifully.

In the video, Josh recommends spreading the mushrooms on a baking sheet when removing from the pan to keep them from getting soggy. Then, move forward with the finely grated garlic from there.

This is a great, helpful tip. Thanks!

ATKOgirl July 24, 2020
In the video, Josh recommends spreading the mushrooms on a baking sheet when removing from the pan to keep them from getting soggy. Then, move forward with the finely grated garlic from there.

This is a great, helpful tip. Thanks!

Rebekah G. December 25, 2018
Made these for Christmas dinner today and they were a huge hit! So full of umami. I didn’t have time to caramelize the shallots for the full time but did higher heat and they were great. I used 3 lbs of baby Bellas and 1/2 of shittakes.
pottsy.1990 April 1, 2018
Made these as a side to the Food52 kale & quinoa crustless quiche for brunch and they were great. I might up the red wine vinegar a bit next time and think parsley would be good if you don’t have thyme. The smoke alarm did go off several times but the brown edges and seared flavour were worth the noise!
Mindy November 26, 2017
I followed this recipe exactly and was rewarded with my new favorite side dish of all time. I'll be making this again and again, especially in the autumn and winter months. Thank you.
Penny C. April 6, 2016
Would this recipe work with dried mushrooms? Some of my favorite mushrooms are difficult to find fresh.
Josh C. April 6, 2016
Hi Penny,

This recipe would not be useful for dried mushrooms, sorry
Frederique M. March 9, 2016
YUM! Will definately try these!
Alicia P. March 5, 2016
Absolutely delicious!!! Spouseand I ate some of these with risotto, & have enough left over for lunch with some pasta tomorrow.
Jamie February 29, 2016
4 pounds is a lot of mushrooms - how many batches did it take (how much time) to sear them without overcrowding the pan?
Josh C. February 29, 2016
Hi Jamie,

You're right that 4 pounds is a lot of mushrooms. This recipe was originally published to feed a large group (6-8 people), so feel free to cut the recipe in half if you are serving less people. In terms of how many batches, that depends on the size of the skillet that you are using, and the type of mushrooms that you are cooking. I suggest cooking the mushrooms in a single even layer in your skillet, and doing as many batches as necessary. Don't give in to temptation and overcrowd the pan. Each batch should take approximately 3-5 minutes. In between batches, you can wipe your skillet clean with a rag so that small leftover mushroom pieces do not burn in subsequent batches.
nsf February 26, 2016
Are you supposed to cut up the mushrooms for this recipe or leave them whole?
Josh C. February 28, 2016
Hi nfs,

Thanks for the comment. I added a step in the recipe, clarifying how the mushrooms should be cleaned and cut.