One of the things I loved most about Lucio’s Paddington restaurant was the seasonal bruschetta that always arrived with our aperitivi, a tradition I like to continue at home. In autumn, the crisp air of Italy’s hilly regions is filled with the wonderful aroma of mushrooms, inspiring cooks to prepare many dishes (sometimes even whole meals) dedicated to fungi. This way of preparing mushrooms is called ‘funghi a funghetto’, meaning ‘mushrooms cooked mushroom-style’ … which Lucio says is quite funny in Italian! Use any mushrooms you like for this bruschetta con funghi, a mixture or just one type if that’s what you have handy, smaller mushrooms such as Swiss brown, shimeji, king brown and enoki are best. And if you need to be inspired in the aperitivi department, take a look at my Top 5 Prosecco Cocktails.
Makes 8-10 pieces
- 500g mixed mushrooms
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
- Salt flakes, to taste
- ½ sourdough baguette, thinly sliced on the diagonal
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and bruised
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Wipe mushrooms with a clean damp cloth if necessary, trim off any woody ends, and slice mushrooms thinly. If using shimeji, discard the base and leave mushrooms whole.
- Heat oil in a heavy-based frying pan over medium heat.
- Add the mushrooms and a good pinch of salt, stir to combine well, cover and cook for 10 minutes or so, stirring often, until softened.
- Uncover, increase heat to high and cook for a further 5 minutes or so, until the liquid they’ve release has evaporated. Set aside to keep warm.
- Toast the bread then rub one side with the garlic, discarding the remaining garlic.
- Drizzle toast with olive oil.
- Toss parsley through the mushrooms, pile onto the toast and serve immediately.