Baked Mushrooms, Broken Bread

This baked mushrooms, broken bread recipe comes from the Agrigento region of Italy, where mushrooms wrapped in moistened butcher’s paper would be buried in the hot ashes of the fireplace to cook or placed on a grill above the glowing embers. My recipe was inspired by Mariapaola Dettore’s Funci ‘ncartati (mushrooms cooked in foil packages) which can be found in her book Sicily.–Guy Mirabella

LC Whatever You Want It To Be Note

Depending on your predilections, this recipe will be a deconstructed déjà vu of an enduring entertaining icon, whether stuffed mushroom caps or Thanksgiving stuffing. Either way, you can’t really go wrong.

Baked Mushrooms, Broken Bread Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 25 M
  • 1 H, 10 M
  • Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino
  • 1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves, plus more for garnish
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon, preferably organic
  • 2 anchovies, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons for drizzling
  • Splash (big or small, according to your discretion) brandy
  • 1 pound smallish to medium cremini mushrooms, trimmed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 smallish loaf ciabatta

Directions

  • 1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C).
  • 2. In a bowl, combine the Pecorino, bread crumbs, garlic, herbs, and lemon zest.
  • 3. In another large bowl, combine the lemon juice, anchovies, 1/3 cup olive oil, brandy, and mushrooms and toss gently. Season with salt and pepper and toss again. Add the cheese and herb mixture and toss once more.
  • 4. Tip the mixture onto a large, lightly oiled baking sheet. Cover the baking sheet with foil so there are no gaps and bake for 30 minutes. Then remove the foil and bake until tender, another 5 to 15 minutes, depending on the size of the mushrooms.
  • 5. Meanwhile, tear the bread into bite-size pieces and place them on another baking sheet. Toss with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and lots of pepper. Place it in the oven with the mushrooms for the last 10 to 15 minutes of baking, or until the bread is golden and crisp on the outside but still a little soft in the middle.
  • 6. Just before serving, place the dried broken bread on a large platter and spoon the mushrooms and their juices, if there are any, over the top. If desired, drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with more parsley, rosemary, and thyme.

In Advance Advice

  • Truth be told, this dish is best when these ingredients are tossed together, shoved in the oven, and served at once, without dallying of any sort. But you can do quite a lot of the prep work—grating the cheese, chopping the herbs, trimming those ‘shrooms—the day before. Trust us, you’ll be glad you did.
Hungry for more? Chow down on these:

Testers Choice

Testers Choice
Testers Choice
Bette Fraser

Nov 14, 2011

OMG! This was heaven in a bowl. And please do add the anchovies! The mushrooms were divine with the bread crumbs, cheese and herbs and when tossed over the chunks of bread, we fought for the last bits. You will add this to your vegetable recipe list for all seasons.

Testers Choice
Jo Ann Brown

Nov 14, 2011

My love for food has made the holidays the perfect excuse to really get down and cook. By preparing a delicious holiday feast for my family and friends, I feel I am giving my loved ones a big, fat, juicy kiss. For this reason, I have been on a hunt for recipes that can riff or spin off classic dishes which sometimes are little too labor-intensive for holiday cooking. This recipe for baked mushrooms fits that search perfectly. Although not intended to be so, this recipe can be an awesome swap for classic Italian stuffed mushrooms. I love that the breadcrumb mixture settles into the mushrooms without the labor of stuffing called for in the traditional dish. The rosemary is unexpected and plays so nicely with the acid of the lemons. I found one half of a ciabatta made the ratio a little heavy on the toasted bread. Next time I will use enough of the half loaf to make the ratio a little closer to one to one.

Testers Choice
Jyoti D.

Nov 14, 2011

This would make a great appetizer or light supper. It was easy enough to put together. Baking the mushrooms really intensifies the flavor. I baked them in a 9 x 13 inch Pyrex pan. I don’t think the mushrooms need any additional salt, as the Parmesan cheese and anchovies are quite salty. I baked the broken bread in the top rack of the oven, and they did require the full 15 minutes to get golden and crispy. My mushrooms did not have any juice to tip over the crispy bread. The mushrooms were incredibly flavorful, but not juicy enough to be tossed with crispy dry bread. I would definitely make this dish again and serve it as a side dish, maybe without the bread.

Testers Choice
Natalie Reebel

Nov 14, 2011

This was a unique way to prepare mushrooms with bread. The aroma of the mushrooms baking was so nice. The baking times were spot on. I couldn’t wait to give them a try. The flavor was nice. However, the mushrooms soaked up all the liquid during the baking process, so there wasn’t a lot for the bread. The finished product was a bit dry, but had great flavor. If there was leftover bread, it would make for some fantastic croutons. If I were to make it again, I would bypass the anchovies.

Testers Choice
Helen Doberstein

Nov 14, 2011

I enjoy a good mushroom recipe. That being said, this is a good one. Easy to make and bake. I did have to leave the anchovies out since my sous-chef husband made objections when I brought them out to use. It seems that if they are to to put in an appearance it must be done in secret. Since they were optional, we pressed on. I found that baking the torn bread only took about 10 minutes, but that’s because the convection oven I use is a small one for the countertop. Baking the mushroom mixture only took about 40 minutes total. The family raved. This is a simple delicious side to almost any grilled meat. The taste reminds me a little of stuffing with chicken. This is something we will be having again and again.

Testers Choice
Abigail Corn

Nov 14, 2011

Delicious! And very easy to prepare while working on a salad for a nice vegetarian dinner, without anchovies, of course.
But, the quantities in the recipe are for “very educated four guests” as we call them… If you prepare it for the family and want to serve it to five or six without counting the pieces – double the recipe! On the third period of baking, I stopped the oven after 10 minutes instead of 15, because the bread was as described in recipe and there was very little liquid.

Testers Choice
Linda B.

Nov 14, 2011

This dish is simple to prepare, and packs a lot of great flavor. It would be great as a main dish or to serve as an appetizer at a party. Next time I make it I might use a little less lemon juice, just to give the other flavors a chance to shine.

Testers Choice
Robert Castagna

Nov 14, 2011

The recipe worked very well, producing a very flavorful product. You can plug and play to get different flavors by changing the mushrooms, and for more intense flavor, add mushroom dust to the recipe.

Testers Choice
Jackie G.

Nov 14, 2011

This recipe was as good as I thought it was going to be. After reading the ingredient list, as well as the cooking method, I couldn’t wait to make this. It did not disappoint. I found some beautiful cremini mushrooms, which were a bit bigger than what was called for in the recipe, so I quartered the largest ones, and cut the others into thirds. This worked out very well. I liked the look of the “wedges” of mushrooms, and the flat sides got a bit caramelized. The only problem I had with the recipe was that in such a hot oven, when I took the foil off of the mushrooms after the initial 30 minutes of cooking, some of the crumb mixture was pretty dark and starting to get a bit dried out. I did not put the mushrooms back into the oven for the final 15 minutes. I did not want to ruin the dish. I put the bread into the oven and checked it after five minutes. The pieces of bread were almost done. I ended up putting the bread back into the oven for about five minutes, along with the mushrooms, just to get them warmed up a bit. The recipe says to spread the mushrooms and “their juices” over the dried bread pieces. There were no juices on my baking sheet. Everything had dried out. I am curious to see if anyone ended up with juices. I am sure that that would have added even more flavor to the dish.

Comments
Comments
  1. gregoriousone says:

    Jackie, one of the reasons you might not have gotten any liquid was because you didn’t add the extra salt to the mushrooms. The addition of salt here is not for flavor but to draw the moisture out of the mushrooms.

  2. Kalyn says:

    Oh yes please. This sound delicious. Thanks for the mention of my roasted mushrooms too!

  3. Cathy says:

    Everyone loved this. I doubled this recipe to make a side dish for four and didn’t have any leftovers. I was very happy to see everyone keep dipping into the bowl to get more. I didn’t add anchovies only because I didn’t have any, so I was generous with the salt. I didn’t have fresh bread crumbs, so I used dry ones and added more olive oil over the mushrooms before cooking, and before plating added more olive oil over the cooked bread. I couldn’t find a loaf of ciabatta, so I used three ciabatta rolls. We thought it was a perfect mix of bread and mushrooms. Next time I might zest a bit of lemon over the top right before serving to brighten things up a bit. Do yourself a favor and make this recipe.

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Lovely to hear, Cathy, many thanks! Sorry to hear about the lack of leftovers, though that is a compliment of the highest order…! Appreciate you letting us know how well this went over in your household.

  4. Sue & Steve R says:

    So simple, so delicious. Don’t double the lemon when you double the recipe. For the first time out, a home run! Will make again.

    • David Leite says:

      Sue and Steve, so glad you enjoyed the dish. And thanks for the heads up about not doubling the lemon juice. Sometimes a little thing like that can make all the difference. Happy 2014!

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