Hey there, friends. I’m glad you’re here. I don’t say it often enough. This space is so special to me, and I’m glad to share it with you. Join me at the table today for some Baked Mushrooms with Red Wine and Parmesan Crumbs.
It’s been a rough week (month…year) in America. At times, it’s felt like hate has become the new norm. We have ridiculed and mocked each other. We have drawn lines, vilified the other, yelled over and at each other. Social media has provided a place for us to speak our minds without consequence, and we have acted like children given a playground without a principal.
This type of event always seems to bring out the best and worst in people. I’ve decided to cling to the best. During a season of uncertainty, doubt, and confusion, I have witnessed incredible kindnesses. I have seen people of all persuasions reach out a hand, offer grace, choose to give someone the benefit of the doubt rather than assume the worst. It’s the start of something, a seed of healing. We water that seed by treating each other tenderly, by listening carefully to each other’s stories, and by seeking to understand rather than prove we are right. Then we get to work, together creating an America that is big enough for all of us.
What better time to heal than during the holiday season, when our tables are full of casserole dishes and people we love. There will probably be people you disagree with around your table. That’s great. Love them. Talk to them. Listen to them. I’m praying my heart is as soft as salted butter this season. I want to hold my convictions closely and my love loosely. I want to seek common ground, wherever it may be found.
Speaking of common ground, let’s talk about mushrooms. Most of my friends and family seem to be divided over the issue. They love them or they hate them. I am firmly in the love them camp. This year, I plan to add these Baked Mushrooms with Red Wine to our Thanksgiving line up. I will share my love for rich, earthy mushrooms soaked in butter and red wine, with hints of garlic and thyme. I will proclaim the goodness of crispy Parmesan breadcrumbs sprinkled over top, adding a savory crunch to each luxurious bite. But for my friends who hate mushrooms, I will offer grace and pass the rolls instead. There’s enough room at our table for all the mushroom-y convictions our hearts and tastebuds hold.
Mushrooms may not be the best place to find common ground, but Parmesan cheese is. Now there’s a food we can unite behind. Real Parmigiano-Reggiano (the kind with the pin holes on the rind) adds a nutty, aged flavor to almost any dish. Add a sprinkling to your mashed potatoes, a few shavings to your green beans, or a good grate on top of the garlic rolls. You can never have too much love or too much Parmesan. Let’s be generous with our hearts and our cheese this season.
Baked Mushrooms with Red Wine and Parmesan Crumbs
- 4 Tablespoons melted butter, divided
- 1 1/2 lbs. baby portobello mushrooms, in thick slices
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 sprigs thyme leaves
- 2 cups fresh bread crumbs
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 3/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a 9 x 13 inch pan or deep, 9 inch cast iron skillet, combine the mushrooms, 2 Tablespoons butter, red wine, vinegar, garlic, and thyme leaves. Season with salt and pepper.
- In a bowl, stir together the remaining butter, oil, bread crumbs, garlic salt, and cheese. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the mushrooms. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until mushrooms are soft and breadcrumbs are golden brown and crisped. If the crumbs brown too quickly, cover loosely with foil for the remained of the cooking time.