Vegan Mushroom-Thyme Gravy
Note: To separate thyme leaves from their stems, run your fingers downward along each stem, against the leaves’ growth.
- To clean mushrooms without soaking them (as they will absorb water and won’t brown nicely), place them in the bottom of a clean sink, toss them with a bit of flour, then run some water over them (the flour helps to remove the sand/soil, and not as much water is needed). If using shiitakes and creminis, slice them; for oyster mushrooms, slice the stems thin, and cut the caps in half or in quarters according to size.
- Sauté mushrooms in 3 Tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat until brown and crispy. If you’re using more than one kind, sauté separately, as they all have different cooking times (about 5 minutes for cremini and white buttons, 8 for oysters, and 12 minutes for shiitakes). Sauté sliced oyster mushroom stems separately or in one corner of the pan for about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Sauté onions in a separate pan over medium heat in ½ Tablespoon olive oil until translucent. Add thyme leaves for the last 1 to 2 minutes. Add to mushrooms.
- In a medium pot over medium-low heat, melt butter with 2 Tablespoons oil; add the flour. Cook stirring, for a couple of minutes. Warm up vegetable broth and stir in bit by bit, waiting until the broth is incorporated before adding more. This will assure a smooth, lump-free sauce. Simmer for a couple of minutes to cook out the raw flour taste.
- Stir in the sautéed mushrooms, onions, and season with vegan Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Simmer for a couple of minutes. Taste, and adjust seasoning if needed.
Note: Mushroom gravy flavor will improve overnight. Add some more vegetable broth if too thick, especially in the gluten-free version.