Sometimes it is the absolute basics, the very simplest of ingredients that can fool us the most; to the point where we can neglect them altogether. In this case, I am referring to the standard closed cup mushroom as produced by the ton load every day and sold in just about every supermarket and greengrocer throughout the country.
This mass produced specimen is regularly criticised by the celebrity chefs and tossed aside in favour of the wild varieties that are quite frankly beyond the budget of most of us – assuming we can find anywhere that sells them at all.
And yet, this boring little fungus can be quite delicious, and a pile served on toast a most handsome treat. However, they sometimes need a little bit of work to bring out the best. So here we go.
Slice the mushrooms into thick slices and crush the garlic. If you slice too thin, the mushrooms will lose texture, one of the drawbacks of cheap mushrooms.
Chop the onion in half then slice thinly. Break it up so you have nice semi-circles of onion.
Heat up the olive oil in a very large frying pan – you want a bit of space around your ingredients when frying. Once nice and hot, add the onions and toss for a few minutes till the moisture has gone and they are are just turning colour.
Turn down the heat to medium and add the butter and melt.
Add the mushrooms and garlic. Salt to taste with a good sprinkling of sea salt. I like mine nicely salty.
Cook, stirring and tossing to make sure they are evenly cooked. You want to cook them till they are just shrinking and getting a golden colour.
Add all the herbs and the black pepper. Toss around in the pan till the herbs wilt, and then serve immediately.
I like mine just on their own, but if you want them on toast, toast some really good home-made bread under the grill with olive oil and sea salt till nice and crunchy.
For a variation, sprinkle with fresh ground Parmigiano-Reggiano and stir till the mushrooms become a little creamy.
And that is that. Gorgeous!