Cool and colorful, an antipasto is always perfect for supper on a hot summer evening. Our writers’ group enjoyed a sizable one last night before rolling up our proverbial sleeves and getting down to work. Our meal was nearly vegetarian (we had tuna in the cannellini beans and some hard-boiled eggs). Make your very own version by combining your favorite vegetables, fruits, grains, beans, cold cuts, and cheeses. If you do throw one one of these classic composed salads together, I strongly suggest you try adding these fabulous Greek-inspired mushrooms.
MUSHROOMS à la GREQUE2 cups water
6 Tbs. olive oil
1/3 cup lemon juice
½ tsp. salt
1 large shallot, minced
6 sprigs parsley
1 small celery stalk
½ tsp. fennel seed
½ tsp. dried thyme
½ tsp. black peppercorns
½ tsp. coriander seeds
1 lb. fresh mushrooms caps, washed and trimmed
Minced parsley for garnish
1. Combine water, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and shallots in a 2½ quart saucepan. Place parsley, fennel, thyme, peppercorns, and coriander in a small bouquet garni bag or cheesecloth. Cut celery into large pieces and add to saucepan with spice bag. Cover tightly and simmer 10 minutes.
2. Add mushrooms to hot liquid and stir to coat them well. Cover and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Using a slotted spoon, remove mushrooms and arrange on serving dish. Boil cooking liquid rapidly until reduced to about ½ cup. Add salt and pepper to taste. Strain over mushrooms. Cover and chill thoroughly. Sprinkle with minced parsley just before serving. Serve alone as an appetizer or as part of an antipasto.