Sunday, May 20, 2007

I am a European Peasant

Um, obviously not really. It's just what I imagined as I cooked up this dinner. This is basic, country food at its best. Last Sunday I bought a whole mess of mushrooms to make quesadillas during the week, however I forgot to buy tortillas. Oops. Wanting to capitalize as much as possible on what was already in my refrigerator, I picked up a loaf of "French-Italian" bread at the Italian bakery a couple of blocks from my gym and decided to serve sauteed mushrooms on cheese toasts.

I cut up the mushrooms I'd bought, about two pounds' worth of shiitake, baby bella, and portobella, tossing them in a hot skillet with garlic and olive oil until their juices released and then mostly evaporated. I debated between using rosemary and thyme, choosing the latter for its less strident flavor, and added salt and freshly ground pepper for good measure.

After a taste, I knew something was missing. I dug in the pantry, brushing past balsamic (the old standby) to my rarely-used bottle of sherry vinegar. This did the trick, though of course any vinegar would work.

This is a nice casual supper with the addition of sliced fruit and a green salad, but would also work as an appetizer.

Wild Mushroom Toasts
1 loaf Italian or French bread (long and thin is best)
Extra-virgin olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
About 2 lbs. mixed wild mushrooms
3/4 t. dried thyme, crushed between fingers
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1-2 T. sherry vinegar
1 cup grated fontina cheese

Cut bread into 1/2-inch thick rounds. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Top rounds with grated fontina. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add mushrooms to the pan, cook until they release their liquid, then let liquid mostly evaporate. Add thyme and season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat. Stir in sherry vinegar to taste.

Meanwhile, toast bread rounds in the oven until crisp and cheese has melted, 8-10 minutes. Serve cheese rounds with a bowl of mushrooms and spoon.

1 comment:

eviedee said...

This looks like heaven to me!