This year for New Year's Eve Annie and her business partner Jodi (they run a little stationary business called Pink Pistachio - website coming soon) decided to throw a little party at Jodi and her husband Mike's new house. They decided to do tapas. Since Annie and I cook so well together, it was basically assumed that I would be helping out with the food. I was glad to do so. Right after Christmas I began doing some research into Spanish Tapas recipes that were doable for the home cook that would not require Annie and I to be in the kitchen during the party prepared small plates for the guests.
I found this recipe on Epicurious and I have to say, it makes a very splashy presentation. PLUS everything but the assembly can be done a day or so in advance. Perfect for a party.
The flavors are really interesting - crunchy crostini is topped with meaty roasted mushrooms, which is then layered with sweet balsamic and honey glazed red onions, a mixture of smokey roasted red peppers, fresh basil and thinly sliced green onion, and then to finish it all off, the whole thing is drizzled with a decadent and woodsy rosemary aioli. It's great for meat eaters and vegetarians alike.
1 1/2 cups balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
6 to 8 4-inch-diameter portobello mushrooms, stemmed, dark gills removed
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 red onions, sliced (about 6 cups)
2 large red bell peppers
3 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 3 1/2-inch-diameter sourdough or French-bread baguette, cut into 24 slices
Additional olive oil
3 large bunches arugula (about 5 ounces), coarsely chopped
Rosemary Aioli (see recipe below)
Preheat oven to 375°F. Mix vinegar, honey, brown sugar and thyme in medium bowl. Transfer 1/2 cup marinade to small bowl; set aside. Place mushrooms in 15x10-inch glass baking dish. Pour remaining marinade over mushrooms. Cover baking dish with foil and bake until mushrooms are tender, about 40 minutes. Transfer mushrooms to work surface; cool. Cut mushrooms into 1/2-inch-wide slices.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add red onions and sauté until very tender and beginning to brown, about 25 minutes. Pour in reserved 1/2 cup marinade and cook until liquid is absorbed and onions are glazed, about 6 minutes. Set onions aside.
Char bell peppers over gas flame or in broiler until blackened on all sides. Place in a bowl and seal with cling film and let stand 10 minutes. Peel, seed and chop peppers. Place peppers in medium bowl. Add green onion, basil, garlic and 1 tablespoon oil and toss to combine. (Mushrooms, onion mixture and bell pepper mixture can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover separately and refrigerate.)
Preheat oven to 375°F. Place bread slices on baking sheet. Brush bread with additional olive oil. Bake until lightly toasted, about 10 minutes. Layer arugula, portobello mushroom slices, onions and then bell pepper mixture atop bread slices. Bake until heated through, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle bruschetta with Rosemary Aioli. Serve immediately.
3/4 cup mayonnaise
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Whisk all ingredients in small bowl to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Aioli can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover with plastic and refrigerate.)