I found this recipe in the Jan/Feb, 2011 issue of Saveur magazine in an article called the The Saveur 100, Chefs' Edition (recommendations). It was a tasty discovery at The Purple Pig restaurant in Chicago by a Canadian chef who happened to be visiting the Windy City with his wife. The Purple Pig was kind enough to share the recipe with Saveur.
The recipe sounded so unusual yet appealing so I was anxious to give this simple recipe a try. I admit this may not be the best choice for those with sodium-restricted diets since cured meats do contain fairly high amounts.
Mortadella is a large Italian sausage made from finely hashed/ground heat-cured pork sausage. It is delicately flavored with spices, including whole or ground black pepper, myrtle berries, nutmeg, coriander and pistachios, jalapeños and/or olives.
After I added the velouté to the puréed mortadella, I then tried adding a little whipped cream to a tiny portion, just to see how it tasted. I found the flavor very bland so, instead, added some Hellman's Light Mayonnaise and a big pinch of freshly ground pepper and some thyme. Perfect! Next time, I might even add a tiny bit of roasted garlic. If you do try this recipe, I'd love to hear your opinion on the recipe as published.
My husband and I truly enjoyed my adapted version with several exclamation points from him ;-).
I halved the recipe for the two of us and it was more than enough for a light dinner along with a salad of mixed greens including some of the fresh arugula.
Mortadella Spread BruschettaAdapted by me from Mortadella Smear recipe in Saveur Magazine and served at The Purple Pig in Chicago
Makes enough for about 25-30 pieces.
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 tbsp. flour
1/3 cup chicken stock
1 lb. mortadella without pistachios*, cut into 1/2″ cubes
1/3 cup light mayonnaise (the original recipe calls for the same amount of heavy cream, whipped)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (my addition)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (my addition)
1-2 baguettes, sliced, depending on how many you are serving
Extra-virgin olive oil
3 tbsp. crushed toasted pistachio nuts
1/2 cup baby arugula
Preheat oven to 350F.
Pour vinegar into a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until reduced to 3 tablespoons, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. (Tip, if it becomes too stiff to drizzle when it is cool, simply rewarm a bit). In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook, whisking, for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the chicken stock and cook until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove velouté sauce from heat and set aside to cool.
Put mortadella into a food processor and process until puréed. Transfer mortadella to a medium bowl. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the reserved velouté sauce, mayonnaise and seasonings. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Cut the baguette into serving-size slices and rub each slice with olive oil. (I add some oil to my palms and rub the oil on both sides of each slice with my hands.) Sprinkle the slices with a little freshly ground black pepper and arrange them on a large baking pan. Toast in the oven for about 5-8 minutes or until just barely golden. You don't want them to get too hard. If desired, you could also rub the top of each bread slice with a clove of garlic.
To serve, spread the grilled bread with the mortadella spread and garnish with a drizzle of the reduced balsamic and a scattering of pistachios and arugula. Serve warm or at room temperature along with some cocktail pickles and olives.
*I couldn't find mortadella without pistachios, but since pistachios are added later, I didn't see a problem!