Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Bruschette di Funghi or Mushroom Bruschettas

I am a bruschetta lover! There, I said it. That may not seem strange to an Italian, but living in "Carb-Free-California" I am proud to be different. I have never been on a diet and eat everything - yes, everything - in moderation. I wish I knew her exact quote, but I remember Julia Child once mocking the U.S. recommended daily allowance of fat. With few words she dismissed it as hogwash and blithely promoted using more butter and other fats. I applauded. Who doesn't love a wonderful tasting bread with an equally wonderful topping. All those high-protein dieters are missing a slice of heaven. (Of course there are those out there, who for specific health reasons, need to watch their carb-intake, and that is quite a different matter.) I have so much fun finding new toppings for good bread - using leftovers, things in the pantry, new ingredients. Bruschettas make a great appetizer or part of a lunch. So, if you see many entries on my blog for bruschette, that is why. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
One of my favorite bruschettas is sauteed shitake mushrooms. You can use porcini or cremini mushrooms as well, but I happen to love the flavor of shitake. I saute a shallot or two, chopped finely, in equal parts butter and olive oil. I add a bunch of chopped sage to the shallots and cook until the sage is brown and the shallot golden. Add a generous amount (3-4 cups for 4 people) of chopped shitakes. Saute over medium heat until the shitakes are well-cooked and starting to brown. (Resist the temptation to add more oil or butter. It will look like there is not enough liquid, but the shitakes release their "juices" slowly, and all will be okay.) Stir frequently as they stick easily. They should cook in 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve them over a good quality bread that has been toasted. Drizzle all with olive oil before serving. These mushrooms also make a wonderful side dish by themselves. This dish is terrific with a fruity red wine like Beaujolais, Dolcetto, a light to medium-bodied Pinot Noir, Nero d'Avola, Rosso Piceno or Conero, Rosso di Montalcino or a simple Sangiovese.
Buon Appetito!


sognatrice said...

I love mushrooms and I love bruschetta--this looks fabulous! Actually my mom makes her mushrooms pretty much as you described (minus the sage); that's the only way I would eat them for a long time :)

Glad you commented at my place; I'll add your link to my site tomorrow morning when I'm more awake ;)

The Passionate Palate said...

Sognatrice (I love that name!): Thanks for the comment. Your site is also terrific. I really enjoyed reading about you.

sognatrice said...

Thanks! I came back here to let you know that I've now added you to my blogroll--you're under the "cucina" part :)

Chris said...

This is great! I love the idea. Note to self - must make! :)

The Passionate Palate said...

Chris - I hope you like them. I am probably going to make your tomato tart tomorrow - still haven't decided which cheese(s) to use but will let you know. Thanks.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

That's sheer artwork, lady.


Rushing off to my local Italian restaurant now to ask them to make it for me!
It's family owned, and I am their best customer (I'm a lousy cook and they have a great atmosphere)... so they will make it.


Scarlett & Viaggiatore

The Passionate Palate said...

Scarlett & Viaggatore - I hope your restaurant makes them for you and that they are delicious. Buon appetito!

Jeena said...

Now that is a great snack, yummy. I love mushrooms too great recipe. I see on your profile you have 2 german shepards, they are the best dogs ever! I love them such loyal cuties. Great posts. :)