THE BLOCK PARTY by Jamie Day: Lettie’s Mushroom Sliders

Like many families, the lives of the characters in my thriller The Block Party revolve around food—and sometimes alcohol. Almost all of the pivotal scenes in the story, such as Friendsgiving, Girls’ Night, Christmas Eve dinner, and the two block parties that bookend the year-long timeline, use food and meals as a way to bring the neighborhood’s characters together. And, just like a recipe with many ingredients, a gathering with such a diverse collection of characters can make for a spicy treat.

Try some easy-to-make dishes that are typically found at a neighborhood block party,—some of which we served at my own block parties over the years such as potato salad and burgers, along with a vegetarian alternative.  Lettie loves her block party burgers like everyone else, only hers are never made from former sentient beings. Lettie’s vegetarianism is part of her activist persona and she sees her choice as a conscious commitment to bettering the health and well-being of the planet and the animals living on it.

These vegetarian cheesy mushroom sliders are inspired by Lettie— the bright, socially conscious teen who brings a feisty, yet compassionate voice to the story with her concern for animal welfare and environmental health.
-Jamie Day


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12 servings

Prep Time

15 mins

Cook Time

20 mins

THE BLOCK PARTY by Jamie Day: Lettie’s Mushroom Sliders

Adapted from

  • 6 Tbsp butter, divided
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/4 pounds sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • ¾ tsp kosher salt, divided
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup grated Gruyère cheese
  • 1 cup grated fontina cheese
  • 2 pull-apart slider rolls
  • 3 Tbsp grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook until mushrooms are golden brown.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of butter, shallots, garlic, and thyme. Cook until the shallots are soft. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and Worcestershire sauce and cook, stirring frequently for 3 minutes.
  3. Make topping: Melt 2 tablespoons of butter, and place in a small bowl. Add Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, garlic powder, and ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, and stir to combine. Cut rolls in half horizontally, leaving top and bottom rolls attached.
  4. Place roll bottoms on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle half of the Gruyère and fontina cheeses over rolls. Spoon mushroom mixture over cheese, and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cover with tops and brush with topping.
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until tops are lightly browned and cheese has melted.  Serve immediately.