Green Olive Pesto:
- 1-1/2 cups large green olives, pitted
- 1/2 red onion, chopped
- 1/4 cup pinenuts
- 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 pound chanterelles, brushed clean, cut in 1/2
- 1/4 pound cremini, brushed clean, cut in 1/2
- 1/4 pound oyster mushrooms, brushed clean, cut in 1/2
- 1/4 pound yellow foot mushrooms, brushed clean, cut in 1/2
- 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon crushed red chili flakes (optional)
- 4 scallions, green and white cut into 1-inch long pieces (about 2/3 cup)
- 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 4 canned plum tomatoes cut in 1/2
- 1 cup Basic Tomato Sauce, recipe follows
- 1 cup dry white wine
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 slices Italian peasant bread cut in 1-inch thick slices, grilled
- 1 cup Green Olive Pesto
To make the pesto: In a food processor, combine the olives, onion, pine nuts, and garlic, and blend for 1 minute. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil until it forms a thick, smooth paste. Allow to stand 1/2 hour before using.
In a heavy 4-quart saucepan, place the chanterelles, crimini, oyster, and yellow foot mushrooms, the red onion, chili flakes, scallions, garlic, tomatoes, and tomato sauce and bring to a boil. Add wine after 8 minutes of cooking. Lower the heat so that the mixture simmers, partially covered, for 15 minutes.
In the meantime, preheat the grill or broiler.
After simmering, the mushroom mixture should be thick, like a ragu. Season the hodgepodge, to taste, with salt and pepper, and pour into a large, shallow serving bowl.
Toast the bread and smear with the green olive pesto. Stand the crostini at fun angles in middle of mushroom hodge-podge and serve immediately in center of table. Serve on top of grilled bread.
Basic tomato sauce:
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 Spanish onion, 1/4-inch dice
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves, or 1 tablespoon dried
- 1/2 medium carrot, finely grated
- 2 (28-ounce) cans peeled whole tomatoes, crushed by hand and juices reserved
In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and light golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the thyme and carrot and cook 5 minutes more, until the carrot is quite soft. Add the tomatoes and juice and bring to a boil, stirring often. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes until as thick as hot cereal. Season with salt and serve. This sauce holds 1 week in the refrigerator or up to 6 months in the freezer.
Yield: 4 cups
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Inactive time: 20 minutes