Photography by Alastair Hendy
This Italian dish is extremely popular because of its versatility: it can be served as a snack or antipasto, or with drinks. Crostini can be topped with a mixture of tomato, mozzarella and basil, or grilled vegetables. This version using wild mushrooms is exceptionally good – even if you can’t get hold of any wild mushrooms and have to use cultivated instead.
400g mixed wild mushrooms (whatever you can get)
2 garlic cloves, 1 finely chopped
1 small red chilli, finely chopped
8 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp coarsely chopped parsley
1 tbsp marjoram leaves
salt and pepper
4 large slices of Pugliese or good country bread
Clean the mushrooms thoroughly and cut into cubes.
Fry the finely chopped garlic and chilli in 6 tablespoons of the olive oil, and before the garlic starts to colour, add the mushrooms. Sauté or stir-fry them briefly for a few minutes only so that they retain their crisp texture. Add the parsley, marjoram and some salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, toast the slices of bread on both sides, then rub them very slightly with the whole garlic clove. Brush with the remaining olive oil and top with the mushrooms. Serve immediately.
When you’re buying mushrooms, whether wild or cultivated, make sure they look fresh, not withered. Wild mushrooms should be cooked and eaten on the day they’re picked but can stand a day in the fridge if necessary. Cultivated mushrooms will keep for three days in the fridge, as long as they’re in a paper bag. To prepare, cut out any decayed parts and wipe them clean with a damp cloth.
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