Cinnamon cap mushrooms. Ever heard of them? Me either…
When I started this blog, I’d write about whatever we were eating that day. There was no thought about making the recipes interesting or how the food would photograph. I’m not sure why I thought anybody cared what I was making for dinner but I could kiss you for sticking with me. It took about three months to realize that I served up a lot of the same ole – same ole. Pretty hard to keep an audience interested with version one hundred and twenty-seven of spaghetti bolognese!
Little by little, my grocery shopping habits changed from automatic pilot, because I made the same meals every week, to waiting to see what surprises the grocery store had waiting for me. I still take a list of depleted staples with me but all main ingredients are chosen by what’s on sale, what looks intriguing, what’s in season and anything I’ve never seen before.
There was a time, in this tiny city that I call home, when our produce departments sold only local root vegetables, squarish, whitish, tasteless tomatoes, white cabbage, buttercup squash; basically all things durable. As recently as twenty years ago, fresh herbs were only available on Friday and only at one produce stand! Ethnic fruits and vegetables, lettuces other than iceberg, white asparagus and wild mushrooms are very new additions to the grocery store scene but late is spectacularly better than never!
The Cinnamon Cap Mushrooms fall into the ‘never seen before’ category. Their color and shape grabbed me so into my cart they went. I did a little research when I got home and it turns out my new find is one of the oldest mushroom species in the world, first cultivated by the Ancient Greeks. They have a firm texture and strong, nutty flavour so I paired them up with some creamy ricotta, sweet peppers and a blast of spice from a few new chive sprouts for a new Spring bruschetta. Worked like a charm! Of course, if you’re anything like me, there’d be very little that wouldn’t taste delicious on top of a piece of crusty grilled baguette seeping with warm extra virgin olive oil.
Beyond my new bruschetta that I’ve shared today, I also tossed them into a quick pasta sauce along with olive oil, garlic, cherry tomatoes and the miniature red peppers and chives. I’d intended to post about both dishes but we were too hungry to wait for me to photograph the pasta! Ralph’s willingness to eat cold food has it’s limits.
I’m hours away from wrapping my arms around my three daughters. It’s actually quite remarkable that I’ve managed to wait this long to tell you. You know my difficulty with not talking about my girls! The three girls and I are having a much-needed love fest at Kaitie’s. We’ll do stuff that would probably bore the bejebbers out of most people. A quiet weekend of hand holding, silliness, endless chatter and much touching of Meggie’s belly. There’s a real baby in there and we want her/him to know our voices…
Cinnamon Cap Mushroom and Ricotta Bruschetta
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 oz Cinnamon Cap mushrooms, wiped clean and trimmed
1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
2 miniature sweet red peppers, seeded and sliced
4 tablespoons ricotta, drained
A few sprouts of chives, snipped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 slices of sourdough bread
- Put a heavy frying pan, big enough to hold all the mushrooms in one layer, over medium high heat and add a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.
- Add the garlic and shake the pan to coat the garlic and keep it from sticking.
- Add mushrooms and peppers, salt and pepper and fry gently for a few minutes until peppers have softened and mushrooms are golden.
- Drizzle the bread slices with a bit of olive oil and toast under the broiler on both sides
- When toasted, divide ricotta and sautéed vegetables between the slices.
- Sprinkle with snipped chives and serve immediately.
THE LOVE: There’re no hard and fast rules for making bruschetta. Play around with quantities and combinations of ingredients. You can’t go wrong!
one year ago: caprese salad
two years ago: grape tomato and Spring Chives with spaghetti
three years ago: recipe for a farmhouse
Thanks for reading.