As a follower of Tara O'Brady's blog, Seven Spoons, for almost a year now, I've been eagerly awaiting her debut cookbook, which hit shelves this week. Tara is Canadian (based in Ontario), but she grew up in a food-loving family with Indian roots and next door to an Italian family who fed her authentic red sauce and chicken scaloppini—and her first spoonful of Nutella. Combine those culinary influences with her seasonal approach to cooking and you've got an eclectic flavor mash-up that's all her own.
Choosing which recipe to cook from Seven Spoons was tough: My Best Biscuits, which Tara claims have the world's ultimate crisp edges and tender layers because she doesn't just bake them—she builds them—were a strong contender, as was her Rhubarb Raspberry Rye Crumble because I'm obsessed with rhubarb anything. But when I landed on the page with her Mushrooms and Greens With Toast, I knew that was the one from the title alone, which I've lovingly changed to Most Amazing Cheesy Bread Ever.
This recipe is brilliant for a few reasons: First, it's like lazy person's fondue. I love fondue, but I'm only going to make it when I'm trying to pull out all the stops for, say, a new boyfriend. Second, you make said Most Amazing Cheesy Bread Ever in a skillet and each step requires you to simply layer another ingredient: mushrooms, then greens, torn bread, and cheese. And lastly, Tara encourages you to serve and eat this heavenly concoction directly from the skillet, which is part of the fun. Who wants to clean dishes when you can all grab a fork and dig in?
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Here's what you'll need:
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/4 pounds mushrooms
2 1" slices crusty bread, grilled or toasted
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
1 red chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 ounces greens (I used arugula)
9 ounces good melting cheese, thickly sliced
Lemon juice (optional)
Melt butter in the olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Tear or roughly chop mushrooms into bite-size pieces and add to pan. Cook, stirring regularly, until golden, 8 minutes. Add garlic and stir constantly until fragrant, 1 minute, then stir in vinegar and chile and season with salt and pepper.
Add greens and stir until wilted.
Rip bread into irregular croutons and push them into the vegetables.
Lay cheese on top of everything and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and let cheese melt, about 5 minutes.