Sunday, January 15, 2012

Crostini with Garlic-Balsamic Portobellos and Provolone

These garlicky portobello mushroom crostini make a delightful appetizer or snack. You can also make these a meal by adding some hearty soup or a salad.


4 portobello mushrooms, each about 4 to 5 inches in diameter
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (preferably Italian flat-leaf parsley)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
French baguette or submarine/hoagie rolls, sliced into 8 (1/2-inch) slices
2 slices provolone cheese (preferably unsmoked), each torn into 4 pieces

Remove the stems from the portobellos, and discard the stems. Using a spoon, scrape the dark gills from the underside of each portobello. Discard the gills. Cut the portobello caps into 1/4-inch slices. Cut the longer slices in half crosswise to shorten them.

In a medium bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, the garlic, and the portobello slices. Toss gently, and let sit for 20 to 30 minutes.

After the portobellos have marinated, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium-size skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add the portobello mixture, and saute for 5-6 minutes, until the portobellos are soft and most of the rendered mushroom liquid has evaporated.

Add the balsamic vinegar to the skillet, and saute over medium heat for a minute or two.

Add 1 tablespoon of the parsley to the skillet, along with salt and pepper to taste. Saute for another minute or two to blend all the flavors.

Meanwhile, preheat broiler. Arrange the bread slices on a baking sheet. Broil until one side of the bread is lightly golden. Turn the bread slices over and broil until the other side is lightly golden. Remove from broiler.

Top the toasted bread slices evenly with the portobello mixture. Top each of the crostini with a piece of the provolone. Broil until the provolone is melted and bubbly.

Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of parsley, and serve.

-- 4 appetizer servings

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