Shiitake mushroom tartines with cheddar fondue

September 14, 2009

A couple of months ago, my husband Marc and I spent a weekend at Shelburne Farms in Vermont, celebrating our 10th anniversary. I’d lived in Burlington for many years in the late 80s and 90s, but I could have never imagined that after moving to New York and meeting Marc we would end up tying the knot in Vermont, and specifically at Shelburne Farms.

He knew me well even back then. Shelburne Farms was truly a power center during my Vermont years. The idyllic grounds, the beautiful Inn and restaurant, David Miskell’s famous tomatoes… and my “girls” (as I like to call the sweet, beautiful Swiss brown cows who happily graze in the green fields) — all were so much a part of my life then and all are still living strongly in my heart and my memories today.

After a hearty and very delicious lunch at Bistro Sauce in the heart of Shelburne Village, we returned to the Inn. “Let’s go for a walk and visit my girls,” I said to Marc… So we put on our hiking boots and took off.

We walked through meadows, rolling hills and patches of forest, visited the organic gardens that supply the restaurant, met the new piglets who were happily rolling in the mud, and caught the cows on their evening feed. It was so impressive to see more than a hundred of them lined up and munching away on their grains. One in particular was very intrigued with my camera and was eager to take a lick — I got a good shot of her fuzzy nose!

With those gorgeous brown cows in mind and with the lingering memory of Bistro Sauce’s earthy oyster mushroom and caramelized onion bruschetta, I created today’s recipe the minute we got back home: A tartine with shiitake mushrooms and shallots, served with a slice of ripe beefsteak tomato and drizzled with a luscious cheddar fondue.

Served with baby arugula, escarole hearts and a lemon vinaigrette, it’s plain irresistible… And I must say that every time I make it, I miss my “girls” a whole lot!

Bon Appétit!

Shiitake Mushroom Tartines with Cheddar Fondue
Served with Baby Arugula & Escarole Hearts with Lemon Vinaigrette

serves 4
active time: 45 min

For the mushrooms

  1. 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  2. 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  3. 12 oz (340gr) shiitake mushrooms – stems trimmed and quartered
  4. 4 large shallots – skinned, halved and cut in 1/4” slices
  5. 1/4 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
  6. freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the fondue

  1. 1/4 cup heavy cream
  2. 2 tablespoons milk
  3. 6 oz (170gr) aged cheddar (or extra sharp) – coarsely grated

For the vinaigrette

  1. 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  2. 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  3. 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  4. freshly ground black pepper to taste
  1. 4 – 1” thick, slices brioche or challah bread – edges trimmed
  2. 1 large, ripe beefsteak tomato – halved and cut in 1/8” slices
  3. 5 oz (142gr) baby arugula and escarole hearts – rinsed and spun dry

  1. Step 1: For the mushrooms – Heat a large non-stick skillet over high heat. Add the butter. As soon as the butter is melted, add the olive oil and mushrooms. Toss well and sauté for 5 minutes until golden, tossing them only occasionally. Add the shallots and continue to sauté for 2 more minutes until the shallots are wilted and the mushrooms golden-brown. Add the salt and black pepper. Toss well, transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  2. Step 2: Place the cream and milk in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat. As soon as the cream mixture comes to a boil, turn off the heat and add the cheddar. Stir well and let stand for a couple of minutes until the cheddar has melted. Whisk until smooth. Set aside and keep warm.
  3. Step 3: To make the vinaigrette – Place the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl and whisk until well blended. Set aside.
  4. Step 4: Preheat the broiler. Toast the bread slices under the broiler on each side until golden-brown. Meanwhile, toss the greens with the vinaigrette and set aside. When done, place each toasted bread slice in the center of a large plate. Top with 2 or 3 tomato slices so that the straight edge of the tomato slices line up with the straight edge of the bread slice. Top with a large spoonful of the shiitake mixture. Drizzle lavishly with the cheddar fondue. Place the dressed greens next to the tartines and serve immediately, when still warm.

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If you love melted cheese, you’ll want to try these grilled cheese sandwich with garlic confit and baby arugula.

open-face sandwich, tartines, shiitake
© 2011 Viviane Bauquet Farre Food & Style NY LLC

Disclaimer: As always, my point of view is my own. I do not accept samples, and have no commercial relationship with any product, food or wine company.

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Kamran Siddiqi September 14, 2009 at 11:03 pm

Oh my! This looks too good to be true!! This looks super delish and amazing! Great post! :D


Divina September 15, 2009 at 7:29 am

I love the combinations of flavors on your dish. Very creative and unique.


Cookie September 15, 2009 at 2:36 pm

This dish looks amazing!


Elizabeth September 16, 2009 at 9:34 am

Wow, that does look divine. I love the fondue sauce…anything with cheese is good in my books. I love your inspiration though! The “girls” sure do look content. Great photo! I just recently moved to a farming community and it is so idyllic here, I’m inspired everyday by the animals and pastures around me. Thanks for even more inspiration!


Jen September 16, 2009 at 10:50 am

Sigh….how romantic! How great that you can go back and spend your anniversary there, too….


Allison Arevalo September 17, 2009 at 1:05 am

That photo of the cow is mesmerizing – not to mention the incredible recipe. I don’t make mushrooms often, and this reminds that I have no good reason not to. Thanks for the recipe!


Jaden September 17, 2009 at 2:46 pm

That is gorgeous! Love the colors and the oozing cheese


Janna September 17, 2009 at 3:07 pm

Your photography is stunning, notably of the beautiful brown cow. Great angle, perception, and lighting. Makes me want to live on a farm.


Viviane Bauquet Farre September 17, 2009 at 3:23 pm

Thank you all for your comments and your kind words… You just warm my heart!

And I’m so glad you love the picture of one of my “girls”! You have no idea how I wish I could have taken her home…


El January 15, 2011 at 4:08 pm

This is a wonderful VT post. I love Shelburne and Shelburne Farms. I’m glad you had a great time (love the cow). The dish looks delightful. Can’t wait to give it a try!!


Kim Caldwell April 10, 2011 at 4:42 pm

Great post! I think I’m going to try the recipe too! I have mixed feelings about cows though. When I was a kid my sister’s used to tease me by telling me that I had “cow eyes” – big, brown eyes. Milked many a cow at 4H camp too! :)


Eva Toneva August 16, 2011 at 11:57 am

I love your recipes – a great combination of flavor and color!


Isabelle @ Crumb August 16, 2011 at 12:18 pm

These tartines look phenomenal… especially that fondue sauce, which sounds irresistible (I’m a sucker for cheese… in fact, I often joke that I’d eat my own shoe, as long as I was allowed to pour some melted cheese on top first)
BTW, I just *love* the photo of your “girl”. She’s gorgeous, dirty nose and all. :)


Viviane August 17, 2011 at 12:56 am

Isabelle, My second name is “cheesehead!”. So I’m with you… Yes, my girl is really gorgeous. I caught her during her evening feed, hence the grains on her nose!


Lori Lynn August 16, 2011 at 12:21 pm

It sounds lovely Viviane. And your girl’s a real cutie pie.


Viviane August 17, 2011 at 12:55 am

Lori Lynn! I so agree… I miss my girl!


Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. August 16, 2011 at 12:32 pm

This looks soooo good! I love the cheese fondue on top!


Dawnie August 16, 2011 at 2:59 pm

The pictures are amazing! My mouth is watering.


Sandra August 16, 2011 at 3:00 pm

One of your girls is very photogenic! My husband would adore this as would I.


Viviane August 17, 2011 at 12:58 am

Thank you Sandra – It would be hard not to find that cow gorgeous!


RavieNomNoms August 16, 2011 at 3:43 pm

Your photography is just stunning! I am so impressed. They look amazing…very appetizing!


Viviane August 17, 2011 at 12:58 am

Thank you dear!


Jessica August 16, 2011 at 5:26 pm

That is an adorable photo!!!!!!!! I love it. And your tartine looks amazing, especially with that cheddar sauce drizzled over it. Great inspiration!


Viviane August 17, 2011 at 12:58 am

Thank you so much Jessica… I make myself hungry every time I look at that photo!


myFudo August 17, 2011 at 2:28 am

wow! This looks great. Love the photo… so scrumptious


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