Mushrooms on toast is a British classic, usually served with tea after work or as a light supper. It is delightful in its simplicity – sauteed mushrooms with maybe a little onion and parsley, dumped over toast and dug into after a hard day’s work.
I did play with it a little in this version, which gussies things up with a splash of wine, some creme fraiche and fresh thyme. Please don’t yell at me – it’s quite good and not that fancy.
My British friend Siobhan gets her mushrooms from the woods near her house, but I just buy button mushrooms from the grocery store. I suppose you could use fancy mushrooms like porcini or chanterelles, but one of the beauties of this dish is that it makes good use of the everyday, often-overlooked button mushroom. So try it this way at least once before moving on to the posh stuff.
In the classic formula, mushrooms are cooked slowly so they release their juices. Some parsley is thrown in toward the end, and the whole thing is spooned over toast, which absorbs the delicious mushroom juices.
My version takes a different approach. The mushrooms are cooked quickly over high heat so they take on some color but don’t release their juices. It is very helpful to have a large, shallow skillet, so the mushrooms don’t pile up on top of each other and steam. It all happens rather quickly, so have your ingredients prepped and at hand, like you would for a stir-fry.
I also break with tradition by serving mushrooms on toast for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It’s especially good with a few slices of tomato on the side and a glass of rich red wine for a light supper.