photo by Jennifer Johnson
When you create a “healthier” version of a recipe that’s so tied to people’s memories, you’re never sure if it will measure up. But this recipe surprised all of us in the test kitchen. It’s hearty and delicious enough to taste almost like the real thing. Using fresh breadcrumbs keeps the meatloaf moist. We also prefer to grind about half of the mushrooms in the food processor to create a textured mix (finely chop remaining half); the finely ground mushrooms act as the base (or “meat”), creating more of a traditional meatloaf texture than if you just chopped all of the mushrooms by hand. It tastes great warm, at room temperature, or cold in a sandwich (our preference).
2 cups packed, diced, white bread, crusts removed
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 pounds baby bella (or cremini) mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed, and finely diced (see headnote)
1 small onion, finely diced
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons finely minced flat-leaf Italian parsley
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 large egg
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons ketchup
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard, divided
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, divided
2 cups old-fashioned oats
Place bread in a bowl and add milk. Allow to soak until ready to use.
In a large sauté pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add mushrooms and onion and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and stir in parsley and thyme. Transfer mixture to a fine-mesh strainer set over a bowl. Cool to room temperature, allowing mushrooms to release as much liquid as possible. Once cooled, gently press mushrooms into strainer, releasing any last liquid.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together egg, ketchup, 2 tablespoons mustard, and 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Add 13/4 cups oats. Remove bread from milk, squeezing out any excess, and add to bowl. Add cooled, strained mushroom mixture and gently mix with your hands until just combined. If mixture is still a bit too wet, add additional oats, 1 tablespoon at a time (mixture should hold together but still be a bit wet).
Form mixture into an elongated loaf shape on prepared baking sheet.
In a small bowl, combine remaining 1 tablespoon mustard and 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce and mix until smooth. Using a pastry brush, brush glaze over entire top of loaf. Bake for about 45 minutes, until cooked through. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before serving.