Warm shitake mushroom caps are layered with a sun-dried tomato and olive spread, then topped with lightly dressed greens.
I like to think of mushrooms as culinary blank canvases. Their mild earthy taste and chewy texture makes them easily adaptable to all manners of savory preparations.
This particular one is all about layers and textures.
At the base are large thin stemmed umbrella shaped shitake mushrooms. Prized for their immune boosting properties and vitamin D content, they have a long tradition of medicinal and culinary use and make a nice alternative to portabellas or button mushrooms.
The over-sized shitake mushroom caps are first bathed in a mixture of olive oil, garlic and wine, and then roasted in a hot oven until juicy and tender. The savory fungi sizzle and soften in the heat, and develop a rich almost nutty flavor and chewy tenderness. Baking the caps before topping them allows the excess liquid to release and eliminates sogginess.
Next up is a layer of sun-dried tomato and olive paste. Similar to pesto but with an added punch from bright sun-dried tomatoes and briny olives minus the cheese, its flavor is bolder and more concentrated.
Drippy with their own juices, the warm mushroom caps are slathered with a generous layer of the chunky spread, building the next layer of flavor and texture.
Finally, lightly dressed greens are heaped on and bring a much needed layer of freshness and a sprinkle of salt or a few shavings of Parmesan brings the whole thing together.
It’s stuffed mushrooms with an oomph.
Have you tried shitake mushrooms?