Recipe

Mushrooms on bruschetta

These are a delicious way to start off a feast. Dried porcini mushrooms have an intense, woody, savoury flavour, but if they're beyond your budget, the dish will still taste great without them. In place of porcini liquid, finish it off with a little stock or white wine.

  • 30 mins preparation
  • 30 mins cooking
  • Serves 6
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Ingredients

Mushrooms on bruschetta
  • 20 gram dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 12 slice ciabatta bread
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 portobello mushrooms
  • 8 medium white (closed) button mushrooms
  • 3 tablespoon butter
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoon cream
  • 2 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • lemon, for squeezing
  • small piece of parmesan or grano padano, for shaving

Method

Mushrooms on bruschetta
  • 1
    Put the porcini mushrooms in a small bowl and pour over the hot water. Soak for 30 minutes, then lift the mushrooms out of the water and into a sieve. Rinse them under running water, checking for any woody bits, which should be trimmed off or discarded.
  • 2
    Chop the mushrooms roughly. Strain the soaking water twice through a small strainer lined with a coffee filter or paper towels, or strain through clean muslin.
  • 3
    Put the porcini in a small saucepan with the strained soaking liquid, bring to a gentle bubble, cover with a lid and cook very gently for 10 minutes, until tender.
  • 4
    Brush the bread with olive oil, then cook in a hot ridged grill pan or on a barbecue grill (if cooking over the grill, keep the heat low to medium) until lightly charred. Alternatively, simply make toast (omitting the oil, of course).
  • 5
    Wipe the portobello mushrooms with a clean cloth and cut each one into 4-5 thick slices. Cut the button mushrooms in half. Heat a large frying pan over a medium-high heat and drop in 2 tablespoons of the butter; it should sizzle and start to go brown.
  • 6
    Add half of the mushrooms to the sizzling butter, placing as many as possible cut side down. Cook without stirring until well browned, then turn and cook the other side until golden (if you keep moving the mushrooms you'll slow the cooking and draw out the juices before they're browned).
  • 7
    Transfer everything to a plate. Add the remaining butter to the pan and when it's hot cook the rest of the mushrooms. When these are done, return the first batch of mushrooms to the pan.
  • 8
    Season with salt and pepper, and reduce the heat to medium. Trickle in a little of the reserved porcini liquid, let it nearly evaporate, then trickle in a little more, tossing the mushrooms often. There should be lots of hissing and bubbling, and the mushrooms should look shiny and smell appetising.
  • 9
    Add the porcini and enough porcini liquid to make everything a bit sloppy. Add the cream, and bubble up gently. Taste and adjust the salt if necessary, then add the parsley.
  • 10
    Spoon mushrooms over the grilled bread and squeeze over the lemon. Scatter with shaved parmesan. Serve.

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