What a wonderful surprise I got last week when a friend dropped off some wild mushrooms at my door! It brought back memories of childhood when my dad and brother would come back from foraging in the woods for morels or chanterelles. No one in my family does that any longer, and while I eat plenty of supermarket mushrooms, they’re quite bland compared to the woodsy flavor of a wild mushroom mix. My friend Polly bought these for me at a farmer’s market in Chestnut Hill, Pa., and they include half of a lobster mushroom (the red one), shitake mushrooms (the brown caps), oyster mushrooms (the kind of frilly ones) and enoki mushrooms (the white ones with teensy caps).The big question was what to make with these beauties? Risotto, mushroom stew, pasta with mushrooms? So many ideas swirling in my head, but in the end I decided to chop them up and make wild mushroom bruschetta. They would be a perfect accompaniment for the rest of the meal planned for dinner, but they would certainly make a fine appetizer on their own to have for company too.
After sautéeing the mushrooms in butter with some shallots, garlic and herbs, I combined the mixture with some grated fontina cheese and spread it over some toasted bread. Then I popped it under the broiler for a few minutes.
The result was a bruschetta with intensely flavored mushrooms smothered with melt-in-your mouth fontina cheese. Make them on smaller toasts for individual canapés to have with drinks. But make sure you use a good quality sturdy bread for these.
How can you resist digging into this?
- mixed wild mushrooms - I used about two cups chopped
- 1 shallot, finely minced
- 1 large clove garlic
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- ¼ cup dry white wine (or dry sherry)
- salt, pepper
- a small amount of minced herbs - I used rosemary, thyme and sage
- ½ - ¾ cup grated fontina cheese
- Slices of good sturdy bread, toasted
- Sweat the onions in 1 tablespoon butter until softened, and add garlic.
- Cook for a couple of minutes over low heat.
- Add the chopped mushrooms and another tablespoon of butter.
- Sauté the mushrooms over medium heat and when they start to shrink, add the white wine and turn up the heat to high.
- Stir over high heat for a couple of minutes, then lower heat and add the salt, pepper and herbs. Remove from heat and mix in the grated fontina cheese.
- Pile onto toasted slices of bread and put in the broiler until cheese melts.