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Ingredient of the Week Ciabatta; by Justin Maule Owner and chef of Wild Fig in East Kilbride.

Byline: Justin Maule

This simple Italian antipasto dish is one of my favourite things to eat. Usually we would have bruschetta in the summer months with ripe juicy tomatoes, garlic and basil but, when the days are cold, topping grilled rustic bread with the warm earthy, almost meaty flavour of roasted mushrooms hits the right note.

Bruschetta, much like almost every dish from Italy, varies from region to region. In Tuscany, it's simply topped with garlic and olive oil. In Naples, unsurprisingly, they top it with the local tomatoes while, way down in Calabria, they finish the dish with pepper and fresh oregano.

The dish itself seems to date to the Etruscan age, in the rich farmlands between Rome and Tuscany, when day-old bread was rubbed with garlic, warmed in the oven and drizzled with the youngest and greenest olive oil.

While writing this, I came across an old Italian saying about bruschetta that made me smile as it's almost a recipe in itself - "Dayold bread, month-old oil, and yearold wine". Who can argue with that? Having the right bread makes all the difference. A thickly sliced, textured Italian rustic loaf like pane Toscano is ideal but ciabatta will happily fit the bill.

Roasting the mushrooms with the garlic will concentrate their flavour. Make sure to add some of the roasting juices to your slice as, when they mix with the fresh olive oil, the taste is simply delicious. Finally top with a slice or two of the best Parma ham you can get hold of and I can guarantee a comforting tasty dish that I hope you will making again and again. Enjoy.

Roasted mushroom bruschetta with parma ham and pecorino

METHOD

1 Place mushrooms, garlic and butter in a small roasting tray, add a good splash of evoo and season.

2 Cover tightly with foil and place in oven for 15-20 mins, then carefully remove the foil as steam will build up.

3 Check seasoning and return to the oven uncovered for 5-10mins to evaporate some mushroom liquor.

Remove from oven and keep warm.

4 Place bread on another oven tray, drizzle with evoo and roast for 5 mins, turn over bread, return to oven for a further couple of mins.

5 Remove toasted bread and rub with cut side of garlic and give another drizzle of evoo.

6 Divide mushrooms between toasts. Lay a slice of Parma ham on top and finish with shaved Pecorino, chopped parsley and drizzle of evoo.

Ingredients Ingredients 400g chestnut mushrooms, half sliced half quartered 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed 50g butter evoo (extra virgin olive oil) 4 thick slices of day old rustic bread, 2 cloves garlic, peeled and halved 4 slices Parma ham Pecorino sea salt and pepper

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jan 13, 2018
Words:459
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