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Mushroom Bruschetta

19 September 2014 / 08:09:31  GRReporter
3053 reads

Danielle Lachana



With Autumn just around the corner, the new season is marked by numerous mushroom festivals (sagre) in various regions of Italy, such as those this week in Borgotaro, Parma (Emilia Romagna), Pordenone (Friuli-Venezia-Giulia), Oriolo Romano, Viterbo (Lazio), to mention just a few.

Most people will already be familiar with ''bruschetta'', the name of which comes from the verb 'bruscare' which in Roman dialect means ''to roast over coals''. Today when we talk about bruschetta we tend to associate it with a topping of tomatoes, herbs, garlic and olive oil, but many other variations exist, including today's which makes use of the great seasonal availability of mushrooms.

If you can't find porcini mushrooms, either dried or fresh, which are noted for their particularly distinctive taste, you can use some other flavoursome mushrooms.




(Serves 4- 6 as an appetizer)



Pre-soak the dried porcini mushrooms for 30 minutes in warm water. Rinse and squeeze dry (you can reserve the soaking liquid to use in stocks, pasta or rice dishes). Roughly cut the mushrooms into dice.

Clean the champignons or other mushrooms and roughly dice them, including the stalks. Heat the oil and butter in a large frying pan over medium heat and add the garlic and chili pepper/s. When the garlic is lightly coloured, remove it and the chili peppers.

Add both types of mushrooms then lower the heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Add the chopped herbs and salt and pepper. Cook for another couple of minutes, stirring.

Increase the heat to high and add the wine, allow it to evaporate then lower the heat and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are cooked.

Put the bread slices on a baking tray on the top shelf of a hot, pre-heated oven at 230o C (450o F, Gas mark 8) and leave the bread to toast lightly, turning over if necessary, on both sides (6 - 10 minutes).

Spread the mushroom mixture on top and garnish with Parmesan flakes.

Serve, if liked, accompanied by a green salad and tomatoes, as an appetizer.

Alternatively, you can use these mushrooms as a side dish to accompany meat such as grilled steak, or even add a few tablespoons of fresh double (heavy) cream and serve over pasta as a sauce.

Buon Appetito! (Enjoy!).

Tags: Bruschetta Italian Mediterranean recipes Mushrooms Porcini Toast Appetizer
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