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Roasted Yellow Oyster Mushrooms and Arugula Bruschetta with Basil Purée

Updated February 23, 2016
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This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

This topping combines mild, soft yellow oysters with salty prosciutto, and the peppery punch of arugula and basil. Yellow oysters are a pretty variety of regular oyster mushrooms.

Basil Puree: Choose bunches of basil with very fresh, whole, unblemished leaves. Remove the leaves from the stems. Wash them in cool water to remove all sand and dirt, then dry them very well, preferably in a salad spinner. Loosely fill a food processor with cleaned basil leaves. Drizzle with 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Process, using on/off pulses, until coarsely chopped. With the motor running, add enough olive oil (not more than 1/4 cup) to make a thick but smooth mixture of very finely chopped basil. Pack the puree into small containers and let it stand 1 or 2 minutes. There should be enough oil to form an even layer over the top; if not, drizzle a little more. Store the basil in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 monhts.

Makes12 bruschetta, served 8 to 12 as an appetizer

Cooking Methodgrilling, roasting

CostModerate

Moderate

Total Timeunder 1 hour

OccasionCasual Dinner Party

Recipe Courseappetizer, hors d'oeuvre, tapas/small plates

Dietary Considerationlactose-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free

Mealdinner

Taste and Texturecrunchy, herby, meaty, savory, umami

Type of Dishcanape/crostini

Ingredients

  • 12 slices rustic, crusty white, sourdough, or whole wheat bread, with crust, each ½ inch thick and about 6 × 4 inches across
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces yellow oyster or 12 ounces hen of the woods mushrooms, cleaned
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 bunch (about 2½ cups) tender young arugula, stemmed, washed, and dried
  • 2 tablespoons Basil Purée (see Notes)
  • 6 slices (about 4 ounces) of very thinly sliced prosciutto, cut in half

Instructions

For the Brushcetta:

Preheat a charcoal or gas grill to hot.

Brush both sides of the bread with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill them on the cooler part of the grill until golden brown in the center and slightly burnt around the edges. They may not color evenly, but that is fine.

Place the bruschetta on serving plates. Divide the topping evenly among them.

For the Topping:

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Trim the mushrooms, leaving just enough of the central stem attached to hold the mushrooms together. Break or cut the oyster mushrooms into clumps of 2 or 3 mushrooms each. (Cut the hen of the woods mushrooms into 1½-inch-wide strips.) Toss the mushrooms with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Spread in an even layer on a baking sheet. Roast until the mushrooms are lightly browned and tender, about 8 minutes. Keep warm.

Stir the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, the balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste in a mixing bowl.

If the arugula leaves are longer than 2 inches, cut them into 1-inch strips. Tender baby leaves may be left whole. Add the arugula to the dressing and toss to coat.

Spread the bruschettas with the Basil Purée and arrange the prosciutto slices on top. Top with the warm mushrooms and arrange the dressed arugula over the mushrooms. Serve immediately.

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