Recipe courtesy of Stewart, Tabori and Chang

Mushroom and Camembert Crostini on Butter Lettuce with Truffle Vinaigrette

Sauteed mushrooms and Camembert are an unparalleled food marriage. The buttery mushroom flavor intertwines perfectly with those same qualities in the Camembert. The rich crouton that is created from these ingredients, along with the bed of truffle-dressed butter lettuce, is so satisfying that it could easily make a main course.
  • Yield: 8 servings
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Ingredients

For the crostini:

1 regular sourdough baguette, about 3 inches in diameter, cut into 32 1/4-inch-thick slices

2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil for brushing the bread

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

3 portobello mushrooms (about 3/4 pound total), stems removed, caps sliced 1/4 inch thick, then cut crosswise into quarters

1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps sliced 1/4 inch thick, then cut crosswise into thirds

Salt and freshly ground pepper

3 ounces Camembert cheese, such as Old Chatham's Hudson Valley Camembert, at room temperature (or use brie or another soft-ripened cheese)

For the salad:

3 heads butter lettuce, washed and torn into large pieces

4 hard-boiled eggs, finely grated or pressed through a sieve

2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

Directions

  1. To make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, truffle paste, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  2. To make the crostini: Preheat the broiler.
  3. Brush the cut sides of the baguette slices with olive oil, and place under the broiler just until the bread is toasted on both sides. Set aside.
  4. In a medium saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and the butter over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and saute until they are tender and the juices, if any, have cooked away. (Wild mushrooms release almost no juices.) If the mushrooms seem dry, add a few drops of chicken stock or water and continue to cook until they're nice and tender and any remaining liquid has boiled away. (You want the mushrooms to be dry, almost crisp on the outside.) Add salt and a generous amount of pepper, and set aside.
  5. Spread or spoon about 1 1/2 teaspoons Camembert on each slice of toast. Broil for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the cheese has melted (or maybe even disappeared).
  6. To assemble: Reheat the mushrooms if they have cooled, or, if you prefer, keep them at room temperature.
  7. Toss the lettuce and eggs with the dressing. Distribute on individual salad plates. Place four crostini on each plate, and top each one with about 1 tablespoon of the mushrooms. Sprinkle with a little parsley, and serve.

Cook’s Note

It is not necessary to remove the rind from the cheese, but if you do not like the taste and/or the consistency, cut it off. For minimum waste, cut off the rind when the cheese is cold. After the rind has been removed, bring the cheese to room temperature before using.

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