Read more about hearty vegetable-based fare in "Where the Vegetables are the Stars."
Grilled mushrooms can easily take the place of meat in a meal, but all too often they wind up leathery-tasting or utterly bland. Michael Solomonov’s technique solves both problems. Starting with meaty king trumpets (also known as king oyster or trumpet royale mushrooms), creminis, or any firm mushroom—even large white button mushrooms—he briefly steams them “to keep them from drying out.” He then imbues them with all the flavor of an Israeli shishlik by, he writes, “marinating them in onion, parsley, and allspice (it’s the allspice that really makes them taste like meat) and then putting them on the grill.” If, like me, you don’t have access to a barbecue, the mushrooms are also terrific cooked in a searing hot cast-iron stovetop grill pan.
- 1 pound (about 8) king trumpet or other hefty mushrooms
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1½ cups roughly chopped onions
- ½ cup roughly chopped fresh parsley
- ¼ cup roughly chopped fresh chives
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Season the mushrooms with the salt, toss with the oil, and arrange in a baking dish. Add enough water to cover the bottom of the dish and cover the dish tightly with two layers of foil. Bake until the mushrooms are just tender, about 30 minutes. Let them cool in their liquid, then drain and reserve the liquid.
- Combine the mushroom cooking liquid with the onions, parsley, chives, and allspice in a blender. Puree until smooth. Put the mushrooms in a zip-top bag, cover with the marinade, and seal. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 3 days.
- To grill the mushrooms: Thread on skewers, wiping away any excess marinade. Grill directly over hot coals until the exteriors are lightly charred, about 3 minutes.