This is my version of an appetiser served at an iconic restaurant in Nantucket MA, that is no longer there.
It is a little retro now, but still lovely and fun to eat. It’s quite light as you can spray the vegetables before cooking rather than use heavy oils and use low fat milk to make the paremsan pudding. I use the parmesan quite sparingly and still get enough flavour, as Mr Winewithfood doesn’t like cheese, but he can still handle a lighter sprinkle. But if you like a good hit of umami, then go a little heavy on the parmesan.
I have been angling this towards what ingredients you have to hand, as this was how I decided to make it while it has been difficult to plan and also to use leftover mushrooms.
But you can also go all out and use portobello mushrooms, plum tomatoes and the best parmesan that you can get!
WINE NOTE: This is an interesting one to pair, as it has umami flavours and you could go towards red with the mushrooms or white with the parmesan pudding. As an appetiser, I think leaning toward the parmesan pudding, a vintage Champagne starts a special dinner perfectly! But if you would prefer a red, then Sangiovese will go well with the mushrooms, tomatoes and basil.
MAKE IT LIGHTER: Spray the mushrooms with oil instead of drizziling. Use fat free milk. Replace the butter with low fat spread- preferably a buttermilk one.
2 Cups /500ml low fat milk
1/2 Cup/50g semolina
1/4 cup/25g grated fresh parmesan / dried parmesan or to taste
2 tbsp unsalted butter
Himalayan salt & pepper
MUSHROOMS & The Tomato Basil Sauce
Olive Oil (or spray)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tomatoes seeded and julienned
1/4 cup /60ml chicken stock
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp chopped basil
1 tsp chopped oregano
Oregano sprigs to garnish
Boil the milk then whisk in the semolina & simmer for 20 minutes, whisking constantly. Blend the quantity of parmesan to taste and salt and pepper. Leave to one side to set while you prepare the mushrooms.
Heat oven to 325F/160C/140fan. Drizzle the oil over the mushrooms, sprinkle over the garlic, chopped herbs, salt & pepper & place in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Leave to cool slightly, while you prepare the sauce.
In a small saucepan, sweat the garlic, basil & tomatoes, then add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat & whisk the butter in and emulsify. The whisk in the lemon juice, salt & pepper.
To serve, put the pudding on the plate, lay the mushrooms on and then the tomato sauce.