It's time to switch gears and start focusing on all the wonderful things Fall has to offer. By this time of the year if I see one more tomato or ear of corn I think I will jump in the lake. My daughter has suggested we pull up all the tomato plants even though they look as if they might just have another spurt in them. No thank you, I have had all I can take from those plants and the prospect of freezing and canning anything else is, well...just not going to happen.
Even though the temperatures are still in the high 80's here in North Georgia, you can see a definite change in the sky. Come to think of it, the bird chirping seems to have subsided quite a bit. All that is left are the elusive hummingbirds. No matter how hard I try, I can't even get a bad picture of one eating from our feeder. So I guess it's time to say goodbye to summer and look forward to the wonderful bounty that is in store for us in the months ahead.
This recipe is a great transition from Summer to Fall. All kinds of mushrooms will be showing up at the local supermarket in the weeks to come and it will be hopefully warm enough to light up the grill at least through the end of September. Take advantage of it, make this your star appetizer.
These bruschette from the cookbook Simple to Spectacular by Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Mark Bittman, are simple to make and always get raves when I serve them. Each is topped with an array of mushrooms—shiitake, cremini, and chanterelle —that is set off by fresh tarragon and a wonderful mushroom syrup. There is nothing like a glass of Champagne to accompany them..
Serves 6 as a first course
Active time: 30 min Start to finish: 45 min
For mushroom syrup
8 oz white mushrooms, coarsely chopped
2 shallots, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups water
6 slices (1/2 to 3/4 inch thick) from a round loaf (6 to 7 inches in diameter) of sourdough or country (firm, crusty) bread
3 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves: 1 halved and 2 minced
1 lb mixed fresh mushrooms such as shiitake, cremini, and chanterelle, trimmed (discard shiitake stems) and chopped
2 shallots, minced
1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 to 3 teaspoons finely chopped fresh tarragon
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh lemon zest
Make mushroom syrup:
Sauté white mushrooms, shallots, and garlic in butter in a 12-inch skillet over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until liquid mushrooms give off is evaporated and mushrooms begin to brown, about 10 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper.
Add water, then simmer briskly, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes.
Pour mixture through a sieve into a bowl, pressing on solids. Discard solids and return liquid to skillet. Boil until liquid is syrupy and measures about 1/3 cup, 6 to 8 minutes.
Prepare grill for cooking or preheat broiler.
Brush bread on both sides with 1 to 2 tablespoons oil.
Grill or broil, turning occasionally, until golden.
Rub both sides with cut sides of garlic clove.
Sauté mixed mushrooms, shallots, and minced garlic in remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms begin to brown, 8 to 10 minutes.
Stir in parsley, tarragon, zest, and salt and pepper to taste.
Spoon mushroom mixture onto toasts and drizzle mushroom syrup on top.