Your Life: Wild Mushroom Toasts

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

5 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 baguette, cut diagonally into 1/4 -inch slices
1/4 cup parsley leaves
1 medium shallot, peeled and finely minced
4 medium shiitake mushrooms (about 2 ounces), stemmed, cleaned, cut into fine strips
1 portabello mushroom, stemmed, cleaned and diced
1/2 oz. dried cepe or porcini mushrooms, soaked in water for 30 minutes
1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter and brush on the bread slices. Toast the slices on a baking sheet in the center of the preheated oven until golden, about 10 minutes.

Chop the parsley finely and set aside.

Cook the shallot in 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet over low heat until softened, about 3 minutes.

Add the remaining 3 tablespoons butter and the shiitake and portabello mushrooms and sauté over high heat 2 minutes.

Strain the dried mushrooms through cheesecloth or a very fine sieve to trap any dirt, reserving the liquid, and coarsely chop them. Add them, along with the reserved liquid and the cream to the shiitake/portabello mixture and cook over low heat, stirring, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the parsley, salt and pepper.

Spoon 1 heaping teaspoon mushroom mixture on each toast and serve immediately.

Note: Dried mushrooms are available in most grocery stores (usually in the produce department) or by mail order. The mushrooms known as Porcini in Italy are called Cèpes in France.

Makes 20 to 24.