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Thursday, May 2, 2013

Three Mushroom Tartine

We spent last weekend in Kingston, Ontario.  The purpose of the trip was threefold - to bring Kat home from university (2nd year done!) - to participate in the KRRA run benefiting the Kingston General Hospital trauma centre and to celebrate my dad's 81st birthday.   

It turned out to be one of those perfect weekends where everything seemed to flow.  The weather was beautiful, we got to spend some great family time together and we ate wonderful meals!

Kingston has a great restaurant scene and we have a few favourites:  Chez Piggy for celebrating, Woodenheads for the best pizza (make a reservations as it is always very crowded) and now Milestones  for when we are a large group and for excellent brunch, lunch and deserts.  It is hard when there are so many of us (we were 12)  to find a restaurant that gets high marks from everyone.  It is definitely about the food, but also the selection (there has to be something for everyone, some of us are vegan, eat gluten free, vegetarian, etc.), the service and the environment.   The highlight of the birthday lunch at Milestones was the soup of the day - three mushroom (Portobello, shiitake and button) with a drizzle of basil oil and garlic croutons - excellent!

I was asked to recreate this at home, which I will attempt, but because it was warm last night and I wasn't in the mood for soup, I adapted the idea for the summer and the barbecue.  A tartine (aka crostini) is just an opened face sandwich - and you can use your imagination to create your own.  Inspired by the delicious soup, this was my combination of flavours:  I used nut bread (from Première Moisson bakery) and toasted it on the barbecue, spread some buttery Québec Pleine Lune cheese (you can use St-André, Brillat Savarin or Brie double cream) that creates a creamy texture, topped it with the sautéed mushrooms and a mache salad with balsamic vinaigrette and basil oil .  It can be served as a meal or in smaller bite sized portions as a delicious appetizer.

You will need:  For 4  tartines

  • 4 or 5 of each of a selection of mushrooms (I used portobello, shiitake and cremini), cleaned and evenly sliced;
  • 1 large shallot, sliced
  • olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of butter
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp of dry sherry (optional)
  • 4 slices of walnut bread
  • Pleine Lune cheese (or soft buttery cheese of your choice)
  • Balsamic glaze (to drizzle on the plate)
For the salad:
  • 4 cups of mache lettuce
  • 2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp of honey
  • 1 tsp of grain mustard
  • 5 tbsp of olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 small yellow beet, julienned (as garnish)
For the basil oil:
  • 1 cup of fresh basil leaves (about 9g), washed and dried
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) of grape seed oil
  • pinch of salt

  1. Heat the barbecue to grill/toast the walnut bread;
  2. Brush the walnut bread with olive oil on both sides;
  3. While the barbecue is heating, sauté the sliced shallot (1 large) in a large pan over medium heat, in oil and butter (1tbsp each) to soften (about 3 minutes - no colour);
  4. Add sliced mushrooms with a large pinch of salt and cook for 5 minutes;
  5. Add dry Sherry (2 tbsp - 30 ml) and continue cooking until all liquid has evaporated (another 5 minutes), season well and set aside;
  6. Toast the walnut bread on the barbecue (or in oven) and spread with a generous layer of cheese;
  7. Drizzle the balsamic glaze and basil oil generously on the plate;
  8. Top with one slice of bread and cheese.  Add a generous portion of the warm mushroom mixture and the salad.  Top with julienned raw yellow beets.

For the vinaigrette and basil oil:

  1. Put the balsamic vinegar (2tbsp), honey (1tsp), grain mustard (1tsp), olive oil (5 tbsp) and salt and pepper in a jar and shake to combine.  Drizzle on the salad just before  plating;
  2. Place the basil leaves (1 cup - 9g), large pinch of salt  and grape seed oil (1/2 cup - 120ml) in the blender and blend until smooth.

Smile of the day!

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