I love to discover foods I haven't tried or heard of before. Just one of the many reasons I revel in travel, and appreciate eating at some of the more adventurous local restaurants - there may be ingredients in a dish I haven't heard of before and I am always curious, and ask about them, and taste them.
We took a family trip to Eureka Springs over a recent weekend, and after a day of eating, Flea Marketing and sock shopping (my daughters request), my husband stopped at the local supermarket so I could run in and pick up a couple of things I needed to cook dinner back at our lake cottage. While in the produce section, I noticed a mushroom I hadn't ever seen before - Bunapi, also known as White Beech - an adorable cluster of small, delicate white caps. I bought a package to experiment with, and found this crostini recipe, where they are paired with rich roasted red peppers, and creamy Brie cheese, to be especially enjoyable.
MUSHROOM AND RED PEPPER CROSTINI
1/2 loaf of French bread, cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 package of White Beech (Bunapi) mushrooms, ends trimmed and mushrooms pulled apart
4 ounces of jarred roasted red bell peppers, sliced into thin strips
1 Brie cheese round, cut into wedges
Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat. When hot, swirl in the olive oil. Add the mushrooms and the red bell peppers and saute for 4 to 5 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Turn the broiler on. Arrange the bread slices on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Toast the bread for 3 to 4 minutes, until the tops are golden brown.
Place a wedge of Brie on top of each toast and return to the oven for 1 to 2 minutes to let the cheese melt just slightly. Remove from the oven, top each toast slice with the mushroom and bell pepper mixture.
Recipe adapted from the Hokto Kinoko Website