I don’t know what it’s like where you’re from, but for me in high school there were always people who couldn’t wait to leave. There was constant chatter about wanting to get out of Huntsville because there was “nothing to do here” and it was a “small town” (which, to people who say it’s a small town: have you been to anywhere else in Alabama?) But I was never one of those people. I’ve always thought that Huntsville is such a beautiful place with the mountains surrounding the city and nature almost everywhere. And it’s the perfect size (not so big that the traffic gives me a stomach ache, but big enough that I don’t have to chat down the grocery store aisles).
But more than anything else, it’s the fact that my family is here, and I just never seem to be able to spend enough time with them.
I made these mushrooms last week for dinner at my parents’ house, which my grandmother and great-aunt also joined us for. My grandmother and great-aunt both grew up in Huntsville. They were here when the Parkway, which is now a main thoroughfare through the center of the city, was built on the outskirts of town. They are full of stories about what it was like to grow up here and how this city has expanded. And I just can never get enough of these stories about my family and the place that they all grew up in. And one day I hope my eventual children and grandchildren will value my stories–that I remember when Parkway Place was Parkway City Mall and how the Publix shopping center used to be a pumpkin patch.
There is just nothing like a dinner with my family and the way it invites memories to the table.
So now, for the reason you are here…the food. These mushrooms are probably one of my new favorite side dishes, as they are impressive for three reasons. 1. Who thinks to roast mushrooms on a regular basis? 2. They smell like a heaven of garlic and butter out of the oven. 3. They take about 15 minutes to prep and 20 minutes to bake.
But the absolute best part of this dish is the buttery sauce that it makes in the bottom of the dish which, as Smitten Kitchen suggests, is perfect for dipping bread in. I made this dish again last night (see how much I like it?) for Gerrit’s family, and we decided it was necessary to bring the empty mushroom dish to the table just so we could dip our bread in the bottom. Although dip might not be the optimal word, because in my opinion, there was not enough liquid for our bread. So more like we scraped our bread across the bottom to get whatever flavor we could.
And that is honestly the only problem I have with original recipe: I want more sauce! So when I made it last night I added more oil and more butter and I’ve made those adjustments below. Honestly, it could maybe even use a little more (hence the scraping), so if you make this, I’d love to know what you did and how it turned out.
Garlic Butter Roasted Mushrooms
adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 20 minutes
1 lb. mushrooms (cremini or white), cleaned and halved (if large)
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice*
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley**
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Place oven rack in the center of the oven.
2. In a shallow baking dish (about 2 quarts) combine mushrooms, capers, garlic, oil, salt, and pepper. Toss together, making sure that all of the mushrooms are coated. Then spread the mushrooms out evenly in the dish. Top evenly with the cubes of butter.
3. Roast mushrooms for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring about every 5 minutes, until mushrooms are tender and the buttery sauce has formed in the bottom of the dish.
4. Remove from oven and stir in lemon juice. Top with parsley.
5. Serve warm with a sliced baguette for dipping in the bottom of the dish.
*Now as I’m typing this out, I realize that we were so eager to eat last night that I forgot the lemon juice!
**Also forgot the parsley both times (or, ahem, just didn’t do it), but I don’t think it affected the quality at all.