Mushroom & Talegggio croutons

  • 1/2 lb. shiitake mushrooms, cleaned, stems removed
  • 2 tbsp. minced shallots
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine
  • 1 tsp. each: chopped fresh thyme, sage and rosemary
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 24 homemade croutons (a baguette sliced on the diagonal works well)
  • 2/3 lb. taleggio cheese (aged teleme)*, in 24 thin slices
  • 2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped

Thinly slice the mushrooms. Melt butter in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Sauté mushrooms and shallots until soft, lightly browned and liquid has reduced. Add red wine; reduce completely. Remove pan from heat, stir in herbs and season to taste with salt and pepper. Allow mushrooms to cool slightly. Place croutons onto a sheet pan. Divide mushrooms evenly among the croutons. Place a slice of taleggio on top of each crouton. Broil croutons just until cheese melts, sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately. Serves 12 guests 2 croutons each.

*Ask your grocer for a likely substitute if taleggio is not available.