I really should start hiding magazines with recipes in them. Once again my mom is responsible for picking out this recipe. She mentioned it, and I knew right away why she wanted to try it - we're both a little weary of our standby shitake mushroom recipe. How could she resist something that Cook's Illustrated called Best Roasted Mushrooms?
Roasted? I never even considered roasting mushrooms. With the exception of broccoli, every vegetable I have tried roasting has turned out great.
Shitake mushrooms are a staple on our shopping list. They're supposed to be incredibly good for us. Plus, mushrooms are one of the best ingredients for meatless dishes because they have so much flavor and texture. So when pine nuts and Parmesan showed up on my mom's shopping list, I knew what she had in mind. Except I hadn't read the recipe. It requires a whopping pound of shitake mushrooms and one and a half pounds of cremini mushrooms! That's a lot of mushrooms!
Consequently, my first jab at this recipe was somewhat limited because I didn't have the proper amount of mushrooms. They turned out well enough though, for me to want to try again, this time with the proper amount of mushrooms.
There's nothing difficult about this recipe but you do have to budget time for it. I was surprised to find I had to brine the mushrooms! Yup. And to be certain those pesky mushrooms don't float, you weight them with a plate or lid to force them to stay down in the water. Most curious. Be sure to choose a bowl or pot for which you have a plate or a lid that fits down inside the pot. It doesn't have to fit perfectly. A little space around the edge is okay but if the gap is large, the mushrooms will escape. If you use a plate, a gap might be welcome so you can get a grip on it to pull it out.
The brining only takes 10 minutes but unlike a lot of mushroom recipes, this one takes about an hour of brining and cooking time, so plan accordingly.
The one sticking point (pun intended) that I haven't yet resolved is the tendency of the mushrooms, especially the shitakes, to stick to the pan. The first time I tried this, they stuck to the bottom of the pan. So I thought I would be clever and line it with aluminum foil the next time. That was worse because the foil tore when I tried to loosen the mushrooms from their grip. Next time, I think I'll try greasing the pan before I dump the mushrooms onto it. Maybe that will help.
It's meant to be a side dish and would work really well for that. In spite of the pounds of mushrooms, it only serves four. We ate them as a topping for egg noodles, in which case, it serves about three. A warning, though. There really isn't a sauce, so I just mixed a little extra melted butter and lemon and served that on the side for anyone who wanted some sauce.
salt and pepper
1 1/2 pounds cremini mushroom caps (whole if small, halved if medium, quartered if large)
1 pound shitake mushroom caps (halved if larger than 3 inches)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted (I didn't bother to toast them)
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Move the oven rack to the lowest position and preheat oven to 450.
In a pot with a lid or plate that fits inside, mix 2 quarts of room temperature water with 5 teaspoons salt. Dissolve salt. Add the mushrooms and cover with lid or plate to submerge. Let stand for ten minutes. Drain and pat dry with paper towels to remove as much of the moisture as possible.
Spread the mushrooms on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Roast 35 to 45 minutes or until the liquid from the mushrooms has evaporated.
Using a thin metal spatula (I used my cookie spatula), stir gently. Roast another 5 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, mix the melted butter with the lemon juice in a large bowl. Add the hot mushrooms and toss to coat them. Add the Parmesan, pine nuts and parsley, toss to combine, and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
|Loads of mushrooms!|
|Use a lid or dish to weight the mushrooms when brining.|
|Dry with paper towels.|
|After 35 minutes of roasting.|
|Can you believe how they shrink?|
|We ate them with egg noodles.|