Marianne McEwen is lovely! She came all the way from Magog to Montreal’s Appetite for Books to introduce us diehard cookbook fans to Culinary Art, her elegant new self-published cookbook. Her photos show off normal foods in an extraordinary light, rising from below and illuminating their beauty.
I found several easy tempting recipes as I scanned the book for an appetizer to bring to a potluck dinner. Tada! How about Wild Mushroom Appetizer — original, but familiar enough to please?
Culinary Art began with a fundraising campaign on Kickstarter. Five years and two children later, an idea sparked by Marianne’s vision of an onion skin lit from below (hence the cover photo and the otherworldly snaps of edible beauty) comes to fruition.
Wild Mushroom Appetizer
- 20 g dehydrated wild mushrooms
- 1/2 c each white wine, liquid from marinated artichoke hearts
- 2 T butter
- 1 onion or 4 shallots, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- crackers or toasted baguette rounds
- roasted garlic spread (optional, recipe below)
In a small bowl, combine mushrooms, wine and marinating liquid. Allow mushrooms to rehydrate for about an hour.
In a small pan, over medium heat, melt butter. Add onion and sauté for 10 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for 4 minutes.
Remove mushrooms from liquid, squeezing them out over the bowl. Reserve liquid. Coarsely chop mushrooms. Add them to the pan, then stir in the reserved liquid.
Simmer the mushrooms, stirring frequently until almost all the liquid evaporates. Sample the mixture and add salt and pepper to your taste. Serve with roasted garlic spread on crackers or baguette rounds. Makes 1 cup of wild mushroom topping. Serves 8-12.
Roasted Garlic Spread
- 3 garlic bulbs
- 3 bay leaves
- 6 T olive oil
- sea salt to taste
Preheat oven to 375F. Slice off the tips of the garlic bulbs, just enough to expose the cloves, then place each bulb on a sheet of tinfoil, root end down and drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil on cut side of each bulb. Sprinkle with sea salt and cover with a bay leaf.. Enclose in tinfoil. Roast for 40 minutes (perhaps while roasting something else to conserve energy.) Open foil and cool bulbs for 10 minutes.
Remove garlic by squeezing each bulb over a bowl. Mash the garlic with a fork and add remaining olive oil, seasoning with salt to taste.
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