Last week, I posted a picture on Instagram of fifty two ounces of sliced mushrooms and asked, “Does this make anyone else weak in the knees?” Aside from one or two folks who replied that it made them weak in the stomach, most of you appear to be as devoted to mushrooms as I am.
If I see a bowl full of perfectly cooked mushrooms I am quite likely to make a very embarrassing and purposeful face plant into it. I cannot resist them. They’re so savoury, so meaty, so earthy, so nutty, so… so… mushroomy.
I feel no need to curb my enthusiasm for mushrooms since they’re wonderful for your health. Pound for pound, you can hardly find something low-calorie that is more packed with Vitamin D, B vitamins, selenium, ergothioneine (an anti-oxidant that helps protect your cells), potassium, copper, beta-glucans, magnesium and phosphorous. To cap it off (mushroom pun alert), these little fungi help you feel fuller longer. In other words, they can help you control your weight, too!
As if the umami and nutrition power packing of mushrooms wasn’t enough to recommend them, they are so easy to cook that it feels like cheating. They don’t require much in the way of fuss or technique; a knife that’s sharp enough to lob them into a couple of thick slices is all it takes. Since they’re so easy to prepare at the last minute, you might wonder why they’d be a good candidate for Make Ahead Mondays. The reason is twofold:
- When they go on sale, you can stock up, roast your mushrooms and freeze them for times they’re more expensive.
- It eliminates one step in dishes where you’d like to use a smaller amount of roasted mushrooms. (i.e. Soup, Pizza, Sandwiches, etc…)
Yes, I have shared a recipe here for preparing a large amount of mushrooms before, but this one is different and a gal can’t have too many ways to prepare mushrooms! What distinguishes this recipe from the other one is both that this one is far easier and that it requires fewer ingredients but still delivers massive mushroom goodness. In fact, I’d go so far as to say this is my preferred method of mushroom cookery now. Don’t get me wrong, seared mushrooms are fabulous, but you have to watch them and cook them in batches. With Roasted Mushrooms, you toss everything together, whack the tray in the oven and stir once -halfway through- before they reach perfection.
Why is it so great? Just look at them. These are perfectly roasted mushrooms -just a kiss of browning around the edges- substantial, meaty, and juicy, with a hint of thyme and nutmeg to amplify the natural flavour of the mushrooms. This is a lesson I learned from my bonus mom, Valerie, many years ago. Thyme goes with meat therefore it goes with mushrooms. Nutmeg goes with, well, EVERYTHING. No really, nutmeg is described as being aromatic, earthy, and nutty which makes it the perfect companion for mushrooms. I do highly recommend using freshly grated nutmeg from whole nutmegs in this dish. It’s worth seeking them out. I also recommend getting a decent amount of them when you do buy them. Whole nutmegs will last almost indefinitely -unlike purchased ground nutmeg- when stored in an airtight container in a dark cupboard. (See this affiliate link for an example:)
While cute nutmeg graters are available, please remember that you don’t REALLY need a special tool to grate them. The same side on a box grater that you would use for hard cheeses like Parmesan or Romano will do just fine. I use my fine Microplane for the job and it works perfectly.
When I have a stockpile of Roasted Mushrooms in the freezer, I toss them in beef and barley soup and risottos, on pizzas, stuff them in grilled cheese sandwiches, and pile them on top of steaks, chicken, and burgers. On busy, busy, busy nights, I simply serve the mushrooms over polenta or rice with a shower of grated Parmesan or Romano cheese on top. It keeps the crew full and Mama happy. So very happy. Where would you use wealth of Roasted Mushrooms with Thyme?
Roasted Mushrooms with Thyme | Make Ahead Mondays
- 52 ounces of assorted fresh mushrooms *See Notes
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- ground black pepper to taste preferably freshly ground or crushed
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Thickly slice or quarter the mushrooms. Arrange them on 2 11-inch by 17-inch rimmed baking sheets in a single layer. Drizzle half of the olive oil over each pan, followed by roughly half of the thyme, salt, and nutmeg over each pan. Generously sprinkle the black pepper over the mushrooms. Stir with a spoon to evenly distribute everything.
- Roast the mushrooms, stirring halfway through, for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they are hot through and beginning to brown around the edges. Eat immediately or divide into meal sized portions and freeze for up to 3 months.
*I prefer to use mostly baby bella mushrooms with a few white button mushrooms thrown in for variety. You can use whichever mushrooms you like best, but I do recommend using baby bellas or white button mushrooms for the bulk of the mushrooms.