If the produce section were a high-school yearbook, I'd award mushrooms "Most Reliable." Mushrooms are always there for you, whether as a delicious stand-in or accompaniment to meat. I particularly love them when cooked in the blazing heat of the grill, where they become tender and caramelized. In fact, when glazed in a garlicky, buttery marinade, the humble vegetable has a fighting chance at "Most Popular."
Garlicky Marinated Grilled Mushrooms:
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How to Prepare Mushrooms for the Grill
First, choose the best mushrooms for the job — and look for ones roughly uniform in size. If you can, dig through the bulk bin at your grocery store to find firm, evenly colored, and unblemished ones (this is often the less expensive option). Alternatively, sort through the shrink-wrapped cartons to find the one with the best-looking mushrooms. For ease on the grill, it's best to skewer the mushrooms. The trick here is knowing when to halve them and when to leave them whole.
Halve creminis that are larger than one inch in diameter for quick and consistent cooking. Pairing the halved mushrooms together and the smaller, whole mushrooms together keeps cook times consistent. Metal and wooden skewers are both fit for the job, but just remember to soak wooden skewers in water before grilling to keep them from burning.
Garlic Stars in the Simple Balsamic Glaze
With their porous texture, mushrooms are an ideal candidate for marinating, and grated garlic is the star of this recipe's buttery glaze. When paired with sweet balsamic vinegar and charred on the grill, garlic's assertive flavor is mellowed. Don't worry if the butter cools and separates while the mushrooms marinate — once it hits the hot grill, the butter will melt and coat the mushrooms in a glossy glaze. The mushrooms can marinate for up to 30 minutes, but any longer and the liquid they release will thin the marinade.
No grill? No problem. Preheat a sheet pan in the oven and roast the skewered 'shrooms on the hot pan, where they'll develop a gorgeous caramel color and deep garlicky flavor.
Garlicky Marinated Grilled Mushrooms
Prep time: 10 minutes ; cooking time: 10 minutes to 14 minutes
packed light brown sugar
unsalted butter, melted
low-sodium tamari or soy sauce
freshly ground black pepper
metal or wooden skewers (about 10 inches)
chopped fresh parsley leaves
Place the garlic, vinegar, brown sugar, butter, soy sauce, salt, and pepper in a large bowl and whisk to combine.
Trim the mushroom stems, then halve any mushrooms that are larger than 1 inch in diameter. Add the mushrooms to the marinade, toss to combine, and let marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes. If using wooden skewers, soak them in water while the mushrooms marinate.
Prepare an outdoor grill for medium-high, direct heat. Once hot, scrape the grill grates if needed to remove any lingering grit or debris.
Thread the mushrooms onto the skewers, grouping similar-sized mushrooms together on the same skewers and spacing them about 1/2-inch apart. Place the skewers on a baking sheet to transport to the grill. Reserve the remaining marinade left in the bowl.
Place the mushrooms in a single layer on the grill over direct heat. Grill uncovered, flipping once, until tender, 5 to 7 minutes per side. Transfer to a large plate or baking sheet. Remove the mushrooms from the skewers and place in the bowl with the remaining marinade. Top with the parsley and toss to combine. Serve immediately.
Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Oven variation: Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 425°F. Place a rimmed baking sheet in the oven to preheat while the mushrooms marinate. Thread the mushrooms onto the skewers. Arrange the skewers on the preheated baking sheet. Roast until tender, flipping halfway through, 5 to 7 minutes per side.