And recently, after a particularly successful trip to the farmers' market, I got my chance. Armed with fresh parsley, ricotta and a combination of Shiitake and Crimini mushrooms (the Greek was in charge of the scrambled eggs that would go on the side, which would incorporate our own touch--fried zucchini blossoms), I tried to recreate the dish that I had seen only from afar. There's something about cooking from memory, especially when you've already tasted a dish, that can lead to disappointment. While there can certainly be moments of success, you more often than not wonder why yours doesn't taste the same, or why yours seems to have a different consistency. Too little salt? A missing, seemingly secret ingredient?
Inspired by a lovely brunch at the Tipsy Parson
Yields a lovely brunch at home for two
8 ounces of ricotta, seasoned to taste with salt and pepper
2 handfuls fresh Italian parsley, chopped
3 ounces of Crimini mushrooms, stemmed and quartered
3 ounces of Shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and quartered
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for brushing
4 slices potato bread
freshly ground pepper
-In a small bowl, mix the ricotta with salt, pepper and parsley. Adjust to taste and set aside.
-Heat oil in a medium-sized skillet. Once hot, add garlic and cook, in a cluster, for about 1-2 minutes.
-Add the mushrooms; salt and pepper them, adjusting to taste. Then, continue cooking for about 6-8 minutes, or until the mushrooms are browned and softened. Remove from heat.
-Brush the slices of potato bread with olive oil and place on the grill (N.B. Living in an apartment, I don't have a traditional grill, so I used a small George Foreman grill. The bread could also be put under the broiler, but only for 1-2 minutes; otherwise, it will burn!). Grill until golden and slightly crispy.
-As soon as the toast is done, place it on two plates in pairs (proximity is important, however, so make sure that the slices are next to each other.). Then, scoop the ricotta onto the bread, making sure to form a small hill (feel free to add more cheese and form a mountain if you'd like) in the center of the two slices.
-Top with mushrooms and serve, preferably with scrambled eggs--maybe even with zucchini blossoms.