Welcome to the decadent meal I dream about every late December, when I want even simple foods to feel festive. Yes, I am seriously making the argument that baked brie should be a dinner dish. Or, if not dinner, maybe a luxe part of it, so perfect for this blustery, celebratory time of year. For dinner you might eat this with a big green salad and a cup of soup. You might set this out as a side dish with a big roast. You might put it out as part of a party spread too, an oasis of savory among all of the cookies and molten cakes.
We start with the Garlic Butter Roasted Mushrooms in the archives, the ones that I describe as giving mushrooms the “escargot” treatment which to say that they’re cooked in a not-insignificant amount of butter and garlic, then finished with lemon juice and a shower of parsley until they’re complex and wildly more delicious than it would seem so few ingredients could be. But why stop there? Once you nestle in a small brie (or camembert) at the end and let it warm up in the oven, there’s no looking back: you’re probably going to end up scooping it again and again onto toasted baguette slices and entirely forgetting to eat dinner — there really are no rules right now and I say we lean into it.
1 pound mushrooms, any kind, here I’m using cremini and oyster
2 tablespoons capers, drained and chopped
3 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt (I’m using Diamond, use half of other brands)
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Juice of half a lemon
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
8-ounce wheel of brie (or camembert)
A few sprigs of thyme (optional)
Toasted baguette slices
Heat oven to 450°F. In a 2-quart baking dish, toss mushrooms with capers, garlic, oil, salt and many grinds of pepper. Dot with butter and roast, turning over once, until mushrooms are more deeply browned and a bubbly garlic sauce begins to form below, 15 minutes. While the mushrooms roast, trim the top off your brie with a sharp knife — it’s totally edible but this makes it easier to dip into when warm.
Make space in the center of the mushrooms and nestle in the brie and top with thyme, if using. Return to oven for 10 minutes, until brie is warm and loose, adding more minutes if needed. Squeeze lemon juice and scatter parsley over mushrooms. Arrange baguette slices around the brie and mushrooms. Place a small spoon the brie and a larger spoon in the mushrooms. Serve immediately, swooping brie and scooping mushrooms and their juices on the toasty bread.
I usually use cremini mushrooms but I had a few oyster mushrooms too, and tore them in, and you should use whatever you have around.
You didn’t ask but my favorite place to buy cremini, shiitake, and oyster mushrooms in NYC is the Bulich Mushroom stand at the Union Square Greenmarket. They’re usually on the north end on Wednesdays and Saturday. The prices are reasonable and the quality impeccable each time.
Yes, there are capers in here and you’re about to tell me you hate capers and ask what else you can use — I’d use anchovies. If you’re about to tell me you don’t like anchovies either, I’m going to suggest that you might just not like briny things and that’s okay, you can skip it. Nobody has ever complained about mushrooms merely roasted in garlic butter. But I insist that the capers add an amazing nuance here.
The mushroom portion of this dish is adapted from the late Gourmet Magazine. You can also find the garlic butter roasted mushrooms in the archives here.