23 Feb Bruschetta of Wild Mushrooms
Prep Time: 20 minutes / Cook Time: 50 minutes / Serving: 4
Rustic Garlic Toasts
- 4 ounces crusty peasant bread or baguette, sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or unsalted butter, melted
- 2 garlic cloves, halved
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Roasted Wild Mushrooms
- 1 1/2 pounds wild mushrooms (shiitake, porcini, black trumpet, oyster, or a combination)
- 1 medium onion
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed
- 2 juniper berries, crushed
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 tablespoons dry white wine or sherry
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon grappa or cognac (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
For the toasts
- Oven Method: Preheat the oven to 425°F. Arrange the bread slices on a baking sheet and, using a slightly dampened brush, brush both sides with the olive oil. Toast the bread in the oven for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until browned. Rub each slice lightly with the garlic and sprinkle the salt on top.
- Stove-top method: Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until very hot. Using a slightly dampened brush, brush both sides of the bread slices with the olive oil. Arrange the bread in the pan and toast until the bottom side is golden, about 2 minutes. (Press the slices down if necessary with a metal spatula to brown the bottoms evenly.) Turn the bread over and toast the other side. Brush both sides of each toast lightly with the garlic and sprinkle with the salt.
- Pan-grilled bread: This simple variation of the stove-top method re-creates the flavor, texture, and satisfaction of bread grilled over a wood fire. When the pan is hot, sprinkle a scant 1 tablespoon smoking chips or place a 1-inch piece of grapevine in the bottom. Place a round, footed rack in the skillet. When the chips or grapevine begins to smoke, arrange the oil-brushed bread on the rack, cover, and toast for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until golden. Brush the toasts with the garlic and sprinkle with the salt.
For the mushrooms
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Brush any dirt from the mushrooms with a soft brush or damp paper towel. Trim off the ends of the stems and discard. Cut the mushrooms lengthwise into halves, quarters, or eighths to make bite-sized pieces that will still retain some of the shape of the mushroom.
- In a shallow casserole, combine the mushrooms, onion, garlic, juniper berries, and thyme. In a small bowl, combine the white wine with 2 teaspoons of the oil and the grappa, if using, and pour it over the mushrooms as you toss to coat them. Sprinkle with the salt and toss again.
- Cover the mushrooms with foil and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until they are tender and the juices are just beginning to caramelize in the bottom of the pan. (If there is still some liquid in the pan, uncover and roast the mushrooms until the liquid has evaporated. Continue to roast until they are beginning to brown, about 10 minutes longer.) When the mushrooms are tender, toss them with the remaining teaspoon of oil and the pepper to taste.
- You can roast the mushrooms several hours ahead and reheat them before serving in a small nonstick skillet with a little water.