Mushrooms on Toast with Rocket Salad
There’s nothing more simple, or simply excellent, than mushrooms on toast. It’s almost impossible to make them badly but there are a couple of things that can make an otherwise decent dish sublime. The first is that the toast has to be thick – a thin piece of bread turns into a soggy mess. Second, the mushrooms should be cooked over a high heat in very hot fat so that they crisp and cook rather than releasing all their moisture and steam-cooking into a soft mush. Oh, and plenty of seasoning is pretty crucial too.
* 30 g pine nuts (you can buy them ready toasted)
* 600 g mushrooms (a mixture of button, chestnut, oyster – whatever is around)
* 2 garlic cloves
* 60 g butter
* 2 tbsp fresh flatleaf parsley
* 2 tbsp olive oil
* 4 large or 8 small thick slices white bread
* salt and pepper
* 100 g rocket
* 1 large or banana shallot, approx. 30 g
* 3 tbsp olive oil
* 1 tbsp cider or sherry vinegar
* 30 g Parmesan
GET AHEAD PREPARATION (optional)
* Prepare the mushrooms.
* Make the garlic and parsley butter.
* Toast the pine nuts.
* Make the salad dressing.
35 minutes before you want to eat
* Preheat the grill to medium.
* If you haven’t bought the pine nuts ready toasted, put them on a baking sheet and toast them under the grill while it warms up – keep an eye on them as they catch very easily.
* In the meantime, clean and slice the mushrooms then make the garlic and parsley butter. Soften the butter, then peel and crush the garlic and roughly chop the parsley. Stir all the garlic and half the parsley into the softened butter with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and a little pepper until they are thoroughly amalgamated.
* Now cook the mushrooms. Heat a splash of oil in a pan and when the oil is hot add the mushrooms and sauté them over a medium to high heat until they are soft and starting to brown. Add a good tablespoon of the garlic and parsley butter and carry on cooking until the mushrooms have reabsorbed any liquid they might have exuded.
* At this point, toast the bread under the grill and spread the slices with any remaining garlic and parsley butter.
* Prepare the salad. Wash and dry the rocket, place in a bowl and set aside while you peel and finely slice the shallot. Combine the shallot with the oil and vinegar and some seasoning in a salad bowl. Shave the Parmesan, using a potato peeler or coarsely grate it.
* Finally, taste and season the mushrooms, throw in the pine nuts and add the remaining parsley.
* Toss the rocket through the dressing, divide it between the toasts and pile the mushrooms on top.