Saturday, August 7, 2010

Shiitake Mushrooms with Young Pecorino Cheese

From: Bon Appetit Culinary Series, Sur La Table Cooking Class

I didn't think I was going to like this appetizer, since I don't usually go out of my way for mushrooms, and I'm wary of new cheeses. But wow, this is a refreshing change to your usual cheese & cracker app, and has a vibrant, delicious taste that is definitely a good way to start off a cocktail or dinner party.

Serves: 6
  • 7 tsp fresh lemon juice, divided
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 8 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 lemon, peel cut into long thin slivers (yellow part only- avoid cutting into white pith)
  • Coarse kosher salt
  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1 lb fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, cut into 1/2 inch wide slices or left whole if diameter is smaller than 1 and 1/2 inches
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and flattened
  • 6 ounces of young pecorino cheese (pecorino fresco) or Monterey Jack for milder taste, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves
  1. Whisk 5 tsp lemon juice and the mustard in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in 6 Tbsp of olive oil. Stir in the lemon peel slivers. Season with coarse salt and pepper.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spray rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray. Toss mushrooms, remaining 2 tsp lemon juice, and 2 Tbsp oil in a large bowl. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle the mushrooms with salt & pepper. Roast for 15 min. Using a spatula, turn the mushrooms over and roast until soft and beginning to brown at edges, about 10 more min.
  3. Remove from oven and pour half of the lemon & mustard dressing over the hot mushrooms. Add the garlic clove and toss to coat. Let cool on the cooking sheet.
  4. Combine the mushrooms, cheese, parsley, and remaining dressing in a medium bowl. Let marinate at least 1 hr and up to 2 hours in the fridge.
  5. Discard the garlic clove and serve with toothpicks.
Notes: Young pecorino is not the same as pecorino toscano or romano, so make sure you get the right kind. If you're like me and aren't sure about your cheeses, ask for a sample- any nice place like Whole Foods or the like will be happy to let you try some. Also, the mushrooms aren't cheap, but you do need the full pound, since they shrink a little while roasting and this appetizer is really about the combination of all the ingredients together. When cutting the lemon, use a small knife, peeling almost like an apple and avoid cutting deeply into the white part of the lemon peel. You want thin strips. It's amazing how good they taste in this combination.

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