• 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tb. honey
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 ½ Tb. thyme
  • 6 portobellos, dark gills removed
  • 8 Tb. olive oil, divided
  • 2 small or 1 large red onion, sliced thinly
  • 2 red peppers
  • 3 Tb. chopped basil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups arugula, chopped
  • 1 baguette, sliced thinly on the diagonal
  • Olive oil for bread
  • Rosemary Aioli
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tb. lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. chopped rosemary
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1. Heat the oven to 375. Combine the vinegar, honey, sugar, salt, pepper and thyme in a large baking dish. Reserve ½ cup of the marinade and set aside. Add the mushrooms and marinate for about 30 minutes.
  • 2. Meanwhile heat 2 Tb. of the oil in a large skillet and sauté the onions over low heat until caramelized about 25 minutes. Add the reserved marinade and cook another 6 minutes. Set aside.
  • 3. Bake the mushrooms until softened about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, cool and slice. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  • 4. Meanwhile, roast the peppers until charred all over, transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap and cool. Split the peppers open, remove the seeds and membrane and chop. Transfer the peppers to a medium bowl and add the basil, garlic, another 2 Tb. of the oil and salt and pepper to taste.
  • 5. Combine the arugula with 2 Tb. of olive oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
  • 6. Arrange the bread on a baking sheet and brush lightly with olive oil. Toast for about 6 to 8 minutes.
  • 7. Combine the aioli ingredients together in a small bowl.
  • 8. Layer the toasts with slices of mushroom, arugula, onions and red pepper mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with the rosemary aioli on top.
This is one of my favorite appetizers and well worth the effort. Not first date material because it’s a mouthful and not for dainty eaters but man, on man is it delish!

The presentation is also stupendous, better than a restaurant any day.

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