WALNUTS TAKE A MEDITERRANEAN TOUR
Posted by Zel Allen's nutgourmet on April 8, 2009
My husband and I were going to a potluck gathering for a small crowd, and I was asked to bring the appetizer. I had just bought a 2-pound bag of shelled walnuts and decided they were going to become the focus of my contribution.
Then I poked my head into the refrigerator to see what I had on hand and discovered the button mushrooms and the tomatoes I had bought just two days ago. The were still quite fresh and plump looking, so they, too, were included in what turned out to be a delicious starter that came together very quickly.
I always keep Spanish olives on hand because they compliment so many dishes that need a little touch of something pungent.
The end result is that I was able to capture the flavors of southern Italy and northern Spain in one tasty, no-cook appetizer that instantly beckoned with its good looks.
These special mushrooms are best eaten the same day they are prepared.
WALNUTTY MEDITERRANEAN MUSHROOMS
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
12 to 16 large button mushrooms, about 1 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter
2 slices whole wheat bread
1 medium tomato, de-seeded and diced
1/2 cup walnuts coarsely ground in a nut mill
1/3 cup diced sweet onions
1/4 cup minced Spanish olives
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 or 2 leaves green leaf lettuce
1 or 2 sprigs parsley or cilantro
1. Wash the mushrooms and pat them dry with paper towels. Apply gentle pressure with your thumb to remove the stems. Set them aside for a future recipe.
2. Break the bread into small pieces and put them into a medium bowl. Moisten the bread by pouring warm water to cover over the pieces. Then drain thoroughly and squeeze the bread dry.
3. Add the diced tomato, walnuts, onions, Spanish olives, vinegar, garlic, and salt to the moistened bread and mix well. Stuff generous portions of the bread mixture into the mushroom cavities.
4. To serve, line a serving dish with lettuce leaves, arrange the mushrooms on top, garnish each with a tiny sprig of parsley, and enjoy a nutty good starter.