Herby Mushroom and Onion Sauté

This show-stopper of a recipe uses just a handful of ingredients and can be used as a topping for eggs, baked potatoes, pasta, beef and poultry or served with crusty bread as a satisfying snack or party appetizer. The secret is to cook the mushrooms and onions low and slow to get a deep flavor and to caramelize the sugars in the onions. Omit the butter and replace with olive oil to make this recipe dairy-free and vegan-friendly.

PREP TIME: 5 minutes
COOK TIME: 30 minutes

16 large cremini or white mushrooms, cleaned and quartered *
1 large sweet onion, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons butter (or olive oil)
1/2 cup Italian parsley, chopped
3/4 sprigs thyme
1 teaspoon salt
Additional salt and pepper, to taste

In a large skillet, heat olive oil and butter to medium. Add onions, mushrooms and thyme. Cook, stirring about every five minutes, until the mushrooms and onions turn a deep, caramel brown. This entire process should take about 25-30 minutes.

About halfway through the cooking process, add one teaspoon salt to the pan and stir gently.

Once the mushrooms and onions are cooked, remove the thyme stems, add the parsley and sauté for another minute or two, just to wilt the parsley slightly. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cooking tip: Never, ever wash your mushrooms under water to clean them -- they will soak up the water like a sponge and will lose their flavor. To clean the mushrooms, just brush them lightly with a clean kitchen towel.