Autumn cooking extravaganza and wild mushrooms crostinis

November 12th, 2012 § 0 comments

What a great autumnal weekend! what have you guys been doing?

I just had the most perfect saturday with a group of friends… strolling on the market for mushrooms, old roots, game and orchard fruit before hitting the wine shop and getting back to the kitchen to cook and enjoy a lavish feast together!

The idea was to introduce my friends with the concept of my new carreer, and mostly do something fun and catch up with friends that I hadn’t seen in too long.
On the menu we had wild mushroom crostinis, followed by:

roasted ‘old roots’ salad, …

quails & grapes with polenta, …

and for dessert: autumn fruit crumble with homemade kwark* ice cream!

Did I just made you hungry… oups, I’m so sorry! 😉

To make it up to you, I thought I’d share a bite of the crostinis with you…
a crunchy slice of ciabatta spread with a thin creamy layer of borlotti bean puree, and lots of earthy pan-fried mushrooms on top… Autumn on a plate. A perfect bite for a weekend aperitif, after a long walk in the woods (picking mushrooms?!) or a tastebud-tickling-stroll on the market!

The recipe is inspired from the amazing cookbook Vegeterranean by the owners of the Italian vegetarian restaurant Montali where they combine mushrooms with a broad bean puree (similar to humus…). The puree is made of dried broad beans soaked and slowly cooked with aromates for 40 minutes. Unfortunately I couldn’t get hold of dried broad beans on short notice, so I went for the next best thing: a can of borlotti beans begging me to be put at use in my pantry drawers.

Of course you could top your crostinis with the mushrooms alone and it would still be ‘Waouh’… but i can tell you the combi with the bean puree, is worth that little extra effort! (and the puree can be prepared ahead and kept for several days in the fridge)

Wild mushroom crostinis
Crostinis aux champignons des bois

serves 6 to 8 as an apetizer
prep: 10 + 15 min. cook: 10 + 5 min

For the borlotti bean purée**:
. 1 can borlotti beans drained,
. 1 garlic clove, peeled, halved, germs removed,
. 1 small carrot, halved,
. 1 Ts olive oil,
. 2 sprigs parsley,
. 1 Ts tahin (sesame paste)
. Lemon juice & extra virgin olive oil to taste
. Sea salt and freshly ground pepper and chili pepper to taste

For the mushrooms:
. 400 g wild mushrooms, brushed to remove earth and sand, roughly chopped (we used among others porcini, trompettes de la mort)
. 2 Ts olive oil,
. 2 Ts fresh parsley, chopped,
. Sea salt and freshly ground pepper and chili pepper to taste

For the crostinis:
. 1 ciabatta, sliced
. Extra virgin olive oil.

1 . Prepare the bean purée:
. Bring some water (~ 1cup/250 ml) to a boil, with the beans, carrot, garlic clove, parsley and olive oil.
. Simmer covered for 40 minutes on low heat.
. Set a little cooking water aside. Discard the carrots and parsley. Drain the rest.
. Mix the beans, garlic and tahin together until smooth. Adjust the texture of the purée with some cooking water if necessary.
. Season to taste with lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, and freshly ground pepper.
. Refrigerate until further use.

2. For the mushrooms
. Heat up the oil in a large frying pan.
. Add the mushrooms and garlic, and pan fry for 5 minutes on high heat tossing regularly (toss in the parsley after a couple of minutes)
. Season to taste with Sea salt and freshly ground pepper and chili pepper to taste.
. Set aside and reserve

3. Dress the crostinis
. Oil the ciabatta slices lightly on both sides with a brush dipped in olive oil.
. Toast or grill the slices ( in a toaster, the oven, on a grill pan… It’s up to you!)
. Spread the crostinis with a thin layer of bean purée, and top with the mushrooms.

Bon appétit!

* kwark is a sort of Dutch fresh cheese very similar to the French fromage blanc. Both fromage blanc or greek yogurt would be a great substitute!
** Want to try the original dried fava beans recipe: substitute the borlotti beans for 70 g dried fava beans soaked according to the package instruction. Cook as mentioned in the recipe herby but for 40min instead of 10.

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