Grilled cremini mushroom skewers are the perfect side for barbecue season.
Special equipment: 4 to 5 metal or wooden 12-inch skewers (soak the wooden skewers in water first for 20 minutes)Cook's NoteWhole cremini mushrooms become juicy little flavor bombs when grilled. Serve everyone a skewer as an appetizer with some grilled bread, or as a side with grilled meats or fish. Experiment with other mushrooms: Oyster mushrooms are nice, but since they are not as fat and juicy as creminis, reduce the heat a little and turn them more often so they don't char too much.
Preheat a charcoal or gas grill to medium high. Swirl the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until melted. Add the garlic and soften about 2 minutes. Stir in the soy sauce.
Put the mushrooms in a medium bowl, add the soy-garlic butter and toss until well coated. Thread the mushrooms on the skewers, putting 7 to 8 on each and leaving 3-inch handles at the ends.
Put the skewers on the grill with the handles resting on or just off the edge of the grill (for easier handling, since they will get very hot) and cover. Cook, turning the skewers every 2 minutes or so and brushing with the butter after every turn, until the mushrooms are slightly charred all over and softened, 8 to 9 minutes. Sprinkle with the thyme and parsley or lemon zest if using and season with salt. Alternatively, melt a little extra butter and add the thyme, parsley and/or lemon zest if using and drizzle over the mushrooms.
The sixth ingredient: Chopped fresh parsley or grated lemon zest, sprinkled over with the thyme; or you could melt a little extra butter at the end, add the thyme, parsley and or lemon zest and drizzle over.