This is a fun, tasty and relatively easy recipe, though a little time-consuming. I just used plain vinegar instead of Balsamic Vinaigrette. You may have to adjust some of the times and quantities a little for best results. Obviously, you need to prepare this at least a day in advance.
  • 1/4 cup best-quality olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds medium-size fresh mushrooms, stems removed (reserve for another use) and wiped clean
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and sliced into thin rings
  • 4 to 6 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons dried marjoram
  • 1 cup canned Italian peeled plum tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 1 cup hearty red wine
  • 1/4 cup Balsamic Vinaigrette (see recipe)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • chopped Italian parsley (garnish)

    1. Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Salt and pepper the mushrooms, and cook further, for 2 or 3 minutes. Remove mushrooms with a slotted spoon and reserve.

    2. Cook the onion and garlic in the oil remaining in the pan over low heat for 15 minutes. Onions should still have some "crunch."

    3. Add fennel seeds, basil and marjoram and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    4. Add tomatoes, wine and vinegar to the pan, season with 1 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste, and simmer for 15 minutes, or until slightly reduced.

    5. Return mushrooms to the pan, simmer for 5 minutes, and remove from heat. Let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally, then cover and refrigerate. Marinate for at least 24 hours before serving.

    6. Sprinkle heavily with chopped fresh parsley before serving.

    Present the mushrooms in a bowl surrounded by squares of black bread, spread, if you like, with butter and sprinkled with parsley. Scoop the mushrooms onto the bread squares and enjoy.

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