I’m not the most accomplished gardener, so I’m always a little bit shocked when the previous year’s potted herbs start to revive in the spring. This year, my tarragon is growing like wild — and with absolutely no help from me. In fact, it’s so abundant that I’m scrambling to come up with ways to use it. Fortunately, its delicate flavor contrasts delightfully with the grilled mushrooms in this recipe.
As I’m writing this, the month is May. We are just kicking off cookout season here in Northern Ohio. Everything is getting grilled, but the first thing I wanted to make was these mushrooms and their creamy, herbalicious sauce.
Where did this recipe come from?
Let’s take a trip in time and space to a weihnachtsmarkt, a German Christmas market.
As you explore the street market, you might find yourself catching a scent of savory mushrooms and garlic in the air. And your nose might lead you to vendors selling Champignons mit Knoblauchsoße: pan-seared mushrooms with paprika and thyme, served with a creamy garlic sauce. And you might just drop everything to taste this wintertime classic.
Or, if you’re like me, you might just stumble upon a recipe on the internet and decide to try it out.
I was researching traditional German recipes, and the combination of mushrooms and garlic caught my eye. So, I made a batch, and I was hooked.
But as the weather warmed up, I started to dream of a summertime version. One that would showcase tender herbs from the garden. One that would transport me to a bustling farmer’s market on a warm summer’s day.
This recipe is my seasonal riff on Champignons mit Knoblauchsoße. Here, summery herbs take center stage in the sauce, while the garlic steps back to play a supporting role. And rather than pan-searing the mushrooms, I decided to skewer them and roast them over the grill. After all, it is summertime, and everything must be grilled.
Make these grilled mushrooms your own
If you don’t have access to a grill, you can roast your mushrooms under the broiler in your oven, or quickly sear them in a hot pan on the stove. The broiler method may be the closest to grilling, as you can get a little bit of a char under that high heat, but the stovetop method will result in juicier, more tender mushrooms.
This recipe is so simple that it lends itself well to substitutions and adaptations. Switch up the herbs in the sauce to feature your favorites (or to use up whatever is overrunning your garden). I think that basil or dill would be particularly tasty.
As the base for the sauce, you could use any commercially made, non-dairy yogurt. Cashew, soy, coconut, or almond-based versions would all work, as long as they are unsweetened. Or you could use your own homemade yogurt, or even use non-dairy sour cream. The sauce will be thicker, but you won’t get the tang that yogurt brings.
And if you love a pungent, garlicky sauce, feel free to omit the garlic powder and use fresh garlic instead (or just be extra and use both). Alternatively, you could split the difference by using sautéed or roasted garlic for a more intense garlic flavor with a tamer bite than that of the raw cloves.