Roasted Mushrooms & Cardoons

We had a couple friends over for dinner last night & a little impromptu dinner party. Here’s what the menu was:

red leaf lettuce salad with radish sprouts, long radishes & carrots
lentilles de puy dressed with balsamic vinegar, garlic, and parsley
roasted mushrooms & cardoons
pink risotto with dry jack

grapes, pomegranates, & bosc pears
english cheddar & spanish valdeon cheeses

We drank Jest Red, a totally charming dry fruity California wine from Belvedere Vineyards that Kelly, the Specialty Team Leader at the Fresno WFM recommended to me:
http://www.jestred.com/how.htm

The other half of the cardoon ended up in this. You don’t need a cardoon to make it, though – you could use celery or leeks or nothing else at all and the mushrooms would be great all on their own. I served this over risotto, but it would also be happy to be served over polenta, whole-wheat pasta, or even a soy burger.

Preheat the oven to 500. Yep, 500.

Prepare:
½ a cardoon, strings removed, cut into 1 x 1 in. pieces and placed in acidulated water
1 large onion, finely chopped
1/2 T. olive oil & 1/2 T. butter
1 T. olive oil for roasting

Cook the cardoons until just tender, 10-12 minutes, in boiling salted water, then drain and set aside. Sauté the onion in the olive oil and butter over medium to medium-high heat until browned and softened. Season with salt and set aside.

Drizzle the cardoons with the olive oil and spread on a baking sheet with a rim. Place them in the preheated oven and roast for 6 minutes. Remove from the oven and close the oven door, and stir the cardoons. Season them with salt and return them to the oven for an additional 6 minutes. Remove from the oven and season with pepper.

Combine:
1 lb. cremini mushrooms, cleaned, stems sliced flush with the caps
2 T. olive oil or melted butter
salt
freshly ground pepper

Follow the same roasting and seasoning procedure for the mushrooms, but dressing them with 2 T. olive oil, cooking them with the rounded side up for the first 6 minutes, and with the gills up for the second 6 minutes. Combine with the cardoons and onions.

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