Too often, outside of Italy, antipasto can be a tired tray of assorted salumi. Or, “lunchmeat,” as a server an “Italian” restaurant in Chicago, once hilariously answered, in response to our query about what came on the antipasto platter.
Throughout the regions of Italy, antipasto (before the meal), are varied, seasonal, and local. Seafood, robust cheeses, grilled vegetables, crostini with myriad spreads, cured olives, frittate, and more.
Porcini-Stuffed Baby Bello Mushrooms are an antipasto that’s right for any season. By supplementing fresh baby bello mushrooms with reconstituted dried porcini, you create a win-win. The intense porcini flavor (at a fraction of the cost of fresh funghi porcini–if you could find them) with the toothsome texture of fresh mushrooms and assorted seasonings.
Serve Porcini-Stuffed Baby Bello Mushrooms as an easy pass around finger food for a big party or halve the recipe and portion several to a plate, on a bed or radichhio, for a sit-down appetizer.
- 1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
- 3/4 cup dry white wine
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion, minced
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 plum tomato, minced
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
- 1/4 teaspoon each salt and ground black pepper
- 2 cups soft bread crumbs the size of peas
- 2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
- 36 baby portobello mushrooms (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 2 tablespoons (1/2 ounce) grated Parmesan cheese
- Place the porcini and wine in a microwaveable glass measuring cup. Cover with plastic wrap, leaving a vent. Microwave for 2 minutes or until bubbling. Set aside for 10 minutes or until softened.
- Drain the porcini through a fine sieve lined with a coffee filter. Save the liquid. Rinse the porcini and chop.
- Coat a large baking sheet with no-stick spray.
- Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic. Sauté for 5 minutes or until softened. Add the tomato, rosemary, salt, pepper, the reserved porcini and porcini liquid. Increase the heat to medium high. Cook for about 3 minutes or until the mixture no longer smells of alcohol. Stir in the bread crumbs and parsley.
- Preheat the oven broiler. Remove the stems carefully from the mushroom caps. Reserve the stems for another recipe. With a small spoon, place a dollop of stuffing in the cradle of each cap. Press lightly to ahere. Place on the prepared pan, stuffing side up. Sprinkle the tops with Parmesan.
- Broil 6 inches from the heat source for about 5 minutes or until hot and browned.
What antipasto do you favor? Comment here.