Prep time: 45 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes
for the mushrooms:
1 ½ pounds|680 grams king trumpet mushrooms
2 garlic cloves
a handful of chervil
a handful of parsley leaves
splash of absinthe
splash of white wine
For the grilled rutabaga
4 small rutabaga (about 1 ½ pounds|680 grams)
coarse salt and fine salt
1 teaspoon whole allspice
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
fried farro or polenta
- Heat the oven to 500ºF. Build a fire to grill the rutabaga.
- Trim the bottom ½-inch off the mushrooms and save for a million other uses, such as Chilled Beet and Sauerkraut Soup or Roast Duck Consommé, or to add to a meat braise. Cut the mushrooms lengthwise into ⅓-inch slices and place them in a bowl.
- Pound the garlic and some salt in a mortar, then pour a couple of tablespoons of olive oil directly into the mortar, and stir. Coarsely chop the chervil and parsley leaves and scatter them over the mushrooms. Pour a splash of absinthe and a splash of wine over the mushrooms, scrape in the garlicky oil, and season everything with salt. Before you assemble the mushroom parcels, bake a few mushroom slices on their own to test the seasoning.
- Cut six 18 by 18-inch pieces of parchment paper. Divide the mushroom mixture evenly among the six pieces. Gather the parchment around the mushrooms, give it a little twist, and tie it snugly with string—the mushrooms will release a lot of liquid and you don't want to lose any of it, since it will create a nice sauce for the rest of the dish. Bake for about 10 minutes. You should be able to see liquid bubbling inside the parcel and it should be hot to the touch.
- Peel the rutabagas, making sure to get under the thick skin. Simmer them in salted water until you can easily push a skewer through them, about 20 to 30 minutes. Once cooked, they are pretty fragile, so lift them out of the water gently. Let cool and then cut them crosswise into ½-inch-thick slices.
- Grind the allspice and peppercorns in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle. Brush both sides of the sliced rutabaga with olive oil and season with salt and some of the pepper-allspice mixture.
- Rake the coals under the grill for medium-hot grilling. When the grill is hot, about 5 minutes, put the rutabaga slices on and cook them for a couple of minutes. Don't nudge them or move them around or else the grill marks will turn out fuzzy. Check one slice after a couple of minutes and when there are solid, dark grill marks, flip the slices and cook the other side for a few minutes.
- To serve, place the grilled rutabaga and greens and polenta or farro on individual plates. Serve the parcels on a platter so guests get to choose their own. Then they can untie the parcel and when they empty the mushrooms out, the juices will make a sauce for the rest of the dish.
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