This recipe is so filled with garlic it will make a grown man wince. Just the way we like it. Text And Photo By Brittany Thomas
In my twenty five years on this planet, I have eaten a lot of mushrooms. I’ve eaten countless slices of pizza with paper thin wafers of mushroom dotted across the bubbly cheese; I’ve swapped out a hamburger for a Frisbee-sized portabella cap; they’ve been my staple side dish at nearly every steakhouse meal, swimming in butter yet lacking in real flavor; and I’ve cursed under my breath as the raw mushrooms split and cracked during my best attempt at skewering them for a kabob barbecue. Mushrooms and I? We go back a long way.
When I was in high school, we took a class cruise to the Bahamas. Now, for anyone who has ever been aboard a cruise ship, you are already aware of the sinful gluttony that takes place every time a meal is served. It’s course after course, plate after plate, each one with a heavy cream sauce pooled underneath some expensive cut of meat we’d otherwise never buy at home. And that’s the sort of indulgence you expect, I suppose. After all, my last cruise experience was for my parent’s wedding anniversary and thanks to the late night room service option, my father walked off a seven day cruise twelve pounds heavier than when he first boarded. That’s a true story.
It was on that high school cruise that I first had escargot. No one at the table wanted to order it, yet we all dared each other to, and nobody wanted to look like a pansy. So my roommate and I ordered it and waited anxiously for it to arrive. When the server set the dinged up silver tray with its tiny potholes filled with strange caramel-colored knobs of meat in front of me, I didn’t see what all the fuss was about. It looks sort of boring, actually. Now, my mother explained to me once how to enjoy escargot: you don’t chew; you just sort of suck all the garlic and butter off of each one and swallow it right down. Easy. So I scooped up one of the little creepy-crawlies and down the hatch it went. It was hot, swimming in melted butter, with the scent of garlic so strong it made your eyes water just a bit. It was fantastic. As lovely of an experience as it was, I didn’t make it through the entire plate. Somewhere along the line, I spotted two of the tiny antennae poking up through the butter like a sad little flag of surrender and I couldn’t carry on.
When I came across this recipe for garlic and butter roasted mushrooms in Gourmet, it was delightfully disguised as a substitute for the escargot experience. I don’t like to think of it that way – this dish is a surrogate for nothing. You roast a few handfuls of meaty mushrooms with sweet butter, tangy capers, and enough fresh garlic to make a grown man wince. After they’ve submitted to the heat of the oven, you squeeze over a bit of tart lemon juice to liven things up a bit and a bit of minced parsley, lemony and green and wonderful. With a few wedges of crusty bread to sop up the juices in all their glory, you’ll never miss the escargot.
Baby Bella mushrooms roasted in butter with garlic, capers, lemon juice, and parsley.
Author: Recipe From Gourmet
Recipe Type: Appetizer, Side Dish
1 lb (16 oz.) mushrooms, button or Baby Bella
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and chopped
3 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 oz.) cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 oz.) teaspoon each Salt & Pepper
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Clean the mushroom with a wet paper towel and put them into a baking dish, halving them if they are a bit large. Sprinkle over the capers, garlic cloves, salt & pepper, & vegetable oil and toss it all together. Dot the butter over the top.
Roast for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Immediately after removing from the oven, squeeze over the lemon juice and parsley. Serve hot.
Brittany Thomas is a freelance food writer and the author, photographer, & publisher of the award-winning blog "If You Give A Girl A Cookie." Her writing has been featured in The Urbanite, Hagerstown Magazine, The Baltimore Sun, & The Frederick News Post. She likes chocolate cake, asparagus, blood oranges, and lemon desserts. She lives in small-town Pennsylvania with her new husband and mischievous puppy, Kona.