Sunday, May 10, 2009

Wild Mushroom Bruschetta

A combination of exotic mushrooms makes this a truly memorable appetizer.

I was, however, very confused about the quantity of mushrooms used. I went shopping according to the weight advised (1/2 a pound of cremini mushrooms). When I got home, I saw that this weight was supposed to correspond to 6 and 1/2 cups of coarsely chopped cremini. But my 1/2 pound only yielded 2 and 1/2 cups chopped! I thought about going out to buy more, but then eyeballed it and thought, no; this seems like the right amount. Indeed, I can't fathom how 6 and 1/2 cups of cremini would have cooked down to the right amount of bruschetta topping, so I suggest purchasing 1/2 a pound and no more than that.

The other mushrooms called for were chanterelle and oyster. Oyster mushrooms are easy enough to find at Whole Foods, but I had to buy the chanterelle mushrooms dried, and reconstitute them with boiling water. If you quite simply can't find any of the 3 mushroom varieties called for, substitute any other mushroom of your choice.

Now on to the actual recipe!

Combine 1/2 pound coarsely chopped cremini mushrooms, 3 cups coarsely chopped oyster mushrooms and 2 and 1/2 cups coarsely chopped chanterelle mushrooms in a blender or food processor. Pulse about 10 times, until finely chopped. (Note: I was a tad short on the chanterelles, with only about 2 cups).

Place 2 minced garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley and 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook for 30 seconds. Add the mushroom mixture, and cook for 6 minutes, stirring constantly. (the liquid that the mushrooms release should all be evaporated by the end). Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. black pepper and let cool slightly. You should have about 1 and 1/2 cups of mushroom mixture by the end of cooking - you can see why I thought 6 and 1/2 cups of cremini mushrooms to start with was simply too much!

Slice 12 (1/2-ounce) slices of country bread. I wasn't quite sure what the original recipe had in mind by 'country bread', but I purchased half a loaf of rustic wheat bread from Whole Foods' fresh bakery. I would bet that French bread baguette or a loaf of Italian bread would work well too.

Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Add 6 of your bread slices and toast 1 minute on each side. Remove from the pan, and rub half of a cut garlic clove over one half of each toast slice. Repeat the procedure with the other 6 slices of toast and the other half of a cut garlic clove.

Top each toast with 2 heaping tablespoons of the mushroom mixture. Shred or shave the vegan cheese of your choice (I used the vegan mozzarella from Galaxy Foods) in place of Parmesan to equal 1/2 a cup. Place about 2 teaspoons of 'cheese' over each toast.

2 topped bruschetta are 140 calories.

cremini mushrooms $1.52
oyster mushrooms $7.91
chanterelles $11.98
flat-leaf parsley $1.69
country bread $3.49
vegan cheese $3.39

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy
  • Vegan milk - Silk
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance