Sherried Mushrooms on Sourdough Toasts

A simple recipe that is perfect for a snowy day!

Growing up in rural New England, I was fortunate to be surrounded by forests. I was also lucky to have an uncle who was an avid forager for all things wild and wonderful in our woods. 

Fresh food and antique glass

He lived just up the road, and I would accompany him and my Aunt Mary on many an expedition looking for wild food and antique bottles. Aunt Mary’s windowsills were filled with colorful glass bottles that sparkled in the sunlight. She had the eye; when out in the forest, she knew where an old house might have been, and probably where their “dump” was located as well. She almost always found a treasure.

Simple, but wonderful

One of my favorite memories was foraging for wild mushrooms with Uncle Leonard. We’d get back to the house and feast on a simple meal of toast with sautéed mushrooms. Nothing fancy at all. The mushrooms were sliced and fried in lard, with salt and lots of black pepper added in generous quantity. It’s still one of my favorite treats, only without the lard.

And yet, another toast usually rules

When our family celebrates a holiday, there’s always June Cleaver Toasts to start. If I don’t prepare it, for whatever reason, probably time, one of the grandchildren will assemble the ingredients and swipe a baguette in order to set the universe right.

      Although we may always serve these little delights, there is never a “No thank you” to the mushroom toasts either. They can easily be made to accommodate any dietary preference from vegan, to gluten-free, to cheese lover, and everyone is happy.

First snow, snow forts, and mushroom toast

      We had our first snow last week, and my granddaughter enlisted my help as her second in command to make a snow fort. Perfect kid snow, it ended up being quite a big fort. But chilled to the bone, I decided to make these comforting toasts for lunch. Hot chocolate helped too! The toasts were delicious. Hearty and flavorful, the fennel and sherry add just the right enhancement.

Find a mushroom you love, even if it isn’t wild!

      With apologies to Uncle Leonard and his love of lard, here I used vegan butter and olive oil, dairy butter works well too, of course. Since mushroom foraging time is over, I used shiitake mushrooms I found at the health food store that were large and meaty. I happen to love the flavor of shiitake mushrooms, but I’m just as happy with common button mushrooms! You can use any favorite mushroom here, or a mix if you like. Likewise for the dried mushrooms. I used my own foraged dried Hen-of-the-woods (Maitake) mushrooms, but any dried mushroom will work, just check the package to look for the source; China has flooded the market with cheap mushrooms which puts our own growers at risk. I always have serious questions about the quality control as well.

Waste not…

      I’ve used the scraps and the dried mushrooms to make a quick stock for the dish. It takes hardly any time, and makes use of the scraps before assigning them to the compost. You can use any stock, but the few moments putting the homemade stock together is well worth it in flavor. The scallions add a nice pop of freshness at the end, but you can use another herb of choice.

Of course, you can just simply sauté the mushrooms and put them on buttered toasts and it is still a mighty fine dish!

Sherried Mushrooms on Sourdough Toasts

  • 10 oz. (285 g.) cleaned shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 small onion (6 oz., 175 g.), sliced
  • 1 tbsp. butter, or vegan butter
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. fennel seed, lightly crushed
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp., heaping, flour
  • 2 oz. (56 ml) dry sherry
  • ½ cup (4 oz., 113 ml.) mushroom stock*
  • 1 scallion, sliced
  • Parmesan, optional

            Remove the stems from the mushrooms and pat them dry. Slice. Slice the onion as well. If you are making your stock, add these scraps along with 1 oz. of dried mushrooms and 3 cups of water and put it on to boil. Once the stock has cooled, make the mushroom mixture, and assemble the toasts.

            Lightly toast eight long slices of the baguette and set aside.

            Heat a heavy sauté pan over medium high and add the butter and olive oil. Add the mushroom in a single layer, mostly, brown on one side, turn, and add the onion, fennel, and garlic. Mix well, and add a bit of salt and pepper.

            Cook, stirring now and then, until the onion has softened. Sprinkle with the flour and continue mixing for two minutes, until the flour has cooked through. There will probably be a glaze on the pan now, so add the sherry to scrape it all up, then stir in the stock. Let this simmer until thick, it only takes a few minutes, then taste for seasoning.

You can also use this as a gravy over potatoes, pasta, rice, or other grains, just increase the amount of stock.

            Butter the toasts lightly, then mound with the mushroom mixture. Garnish with a bit of Parmesan or vegan Parmesan, and sprinkle with the scallions, or just a squeeze of lemon juice to brighten things up.

*To make mushroom stock, combine the trimmings of the mushroom stems, the scraps from the onion, 1 oz. (30 g) of dried mushrooms of choice, and 3 cups of water. Simmer for 15 minutes, then let set until cool. Strain.

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44 Comments Add yours

  1. Chef Mimi says:

    New England is so beautiful. My daughter and husband just bought a pub-looking old house in Connecticut, and I can’t wait to see it! Love your crostini!

    1. How wonderful Mimi! I hope they enjoy it for many years to come!

  2. Marilou says:

    You gave me idea what to have for breakfast today. I’ll use brown mushroom as that is what I have now. I will not forget the pair it with hot chocolate too, perfect for a rainy day.

  3. Jenna says:

    This sounds so good, I love sherry with mushrooms~ your childhood memories of mushrooms and your aunt and uncle are special…

    1. Thanks Jenna! I loved heading out in the woods with them and learned a lot; I would have learned more if I paid more attention!!!

  4. gabychops says:

    Lovely, thank you.


    1. Thanks for stopping by Joanna!

  5. What a wonderful recipe and the back story is beautiful too!

    1. Thank you my friend! Have a lovely Sunday!

  6. Suzassippi says:

    I enjoy sauteed mushrooms of any kind! On toast sounds delicious. And that is a seriously impressive snow fort!

    1. It was a beauty of a fort! But the General bossed nicely, and we had a ball, although we both ended up with freezing cold hands!

      1. Suzassippi says:

        You are tougher than I am if you made it that long!

      2. It was tough. Those balls were really heavy and it was a struggle to roll them into place!

  7. lisinmayenne says:

    Mushrooms on toast are one of my favourite dishes on earth, if I ever find myself alone for a couple of days, they are always top of the menu. This recipe really takes them to another level, though, and the family story behind them is as delightful as ever. Wow ~ hard to believe all that snow looking from a seriously mild western Europe!

  8. Ronit says:

    It seems we’re both on sauteed mushrooms today, though in very different uses.
    I could happily gobble a few of these right now. Love the addition of fennel seeds! 🙂

    1. You and I both love fennel Ronit, and we slip it in where we can!

      1. Ronit says:

        It’s amazing how well it works, in both savory and sweet dishes.

  9. Nancy says:

    Oh how wonderful these look! I love mushrooms. I always enjoy hearing stories of your childhood. And your Aunt and Uncle memories were fabulous! And a snow fort as well!

    1. Thanks Nancy, it really was a great day!

  10. It appears that mushrooms are a favorite of so many of us who follow you. They’re like bacon and butter, they make everything taste better! This looks like a fun treat to share with friends at a dinner party! Thanks for sharing Dorothy! Hugs, C

  11. Gail says:

    Sautéed mushrooms are scrumptious. I always try to make extra because some of them never make it to the toast. 😜🍄

    1. I know, they have a way of disappearing, especially when one’s back is turned…

      1. Gail says:

        Truth! 🤣

  12. terrie gura says:

    I must try making mushroom toasts! They look so satisfying, and great replenishment, after such a productive day of snow fort building. 🥰 ❄️

  13. These toasts look absolutely cravable. I love the foraging story, too. But I have to say that I’m really taken with the June Cleaver toasts!

    1. Ah, the June Cleaver Toasts. I can’t count how many times I’ve given that recipe away. it is so simple, and everyone absolutely adores them. Try them, and you’ll see what I mean!

  14. NativeNM says:

    Anything with mushrooms is a good thing! I love your mushroom toasts, they look so perfect to start a meal!

    1. Thank you Jan! They are fun at a gathering as well.

  15. This tasty recipe would make a great appetizer course for the holidays.

    1. I agree Jovina! For a party, you could slice the baguette in simple little rounds, or use a larger bread and cut it into squares.

  16. Christy B says:

    A yummy dish for after the snow fort day! I remember making snow forts as a kid ~ This post brought back great memories for me.

    1. I think it’s a universal kid thing Christy! Defending our territory with snowballs!

  17. How lucky you were to be able to forage in your own woods! I love mushrooms but rarely get them as my husband doesn’t care for them. I would gobble these up in no time!

    1. I’ll save you some Diane!

  18. Toast with sautéed mushrooms is super fancy to me 😉 I loved foraging for mushrooms as well when I was little! What a great time 😉
    Living in Asia, most products are from China, but I always try to stay away from them…I better prefer the fruits and veggies from Malaysia, Thailand or Australia, New Zealand even if are more expensive…quality control I’m afraid is not there for China’s products…
    That snow fort is really big 😆

    1. Food shopping is all about pecking order, isn’t it Ribana! I’m seeing more and more Chinese foods in our markets, and it really has me worried because of quality control, as you said, and their environmental record. Luckily, I can usually find an alternative!
      The snow fort was amazing!

    1. Thanks so much for the link! I really appreciate this kindness!

  19. This looks mouth watering, can’t wait to try it!

    1. Thanks! They are good any time of day or night!

  20. Americaoncoffee says:


    1. THANK YOU ! Definitely a crowd pleaser!

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