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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.
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