Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Mortadella Spread Bruschetta

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.

The mortadella is first puréed in a food processor and a velouté sauce made with chicken stock is added along with a bit of whipped cream. However, here is where the recipe and I parted ways~

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 Bruschetta

Adapted by me from Mortadella Smear recipe in Saveur Magazine and served at The Purple Pig in Chicago
Printable Version

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!


  1. Nice...very nice. Enjoy your rest. See you next month.

  2. Great pics Susan, this looks yummy! Enjoy your time off-eat well:@)

  3. Looks delicious, and it would be great for company!

    Enjoy your respite! See you in a few!


  4. We will miss you! See you in a few weeks. :)


  5. Thanks for leaving us with a tasty recipe before you "leave". Have a good rest. I'll see you when you get "back".


  6. Great post as usual Susan. We all need a break somtimes to recharge the batterie.Great recipe for me tot try. Enjoy, but do come Back; I really enjoy reading you!

  7. Oh I will miss you but have a fun break! I've never heard of a meat bruschetta before but it sounds delicious!

  8. This recipe looks fabulous - I love bruschetta and make it. I haven't made it like this so must try! Enjoy your break!

  9. Your adaptions sounds good, it looks delicious! Have a great break!

  10. I had meat bruschetta once and it tasted really good. Yours look fantastic! Enjoy your break. You'll be missed.

  11. come sempre una ricetta buonissima!!!complimenti! ciao!

  12. Enjoy your time off! Look forward to your great recipes:)

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  14. Looks really yummy! Have a nice respite. I will miss your wonderful recipes and pictures. The pictures are feasts for the eyes.

  15. Have a fun break Susan. I'm going to miss your delicious posts but we all need to recharge every now and then! See ya in a few...

  16. That looks great! It would make a yummy appetizer. :) I hope you have a lovely break!

  17. This looks great! Enjoy your little break, have fun!

  18. Yhis is another new one for me - looks delicious!
    Have a great down time....

  19. Sublime Sausage Susan :)

    Mortadella was a sausage I used to have no trouble finding, in the island of Cuba, of all places. But here, in the US, it has turned into a quest.
    In any event, I know I will find it. In the meantime, I'll keep ogling your masterpiece.

    Enjoy your time off with sweet Mack!

  20. Wow, a mortadella spread. Very cool.

    Enjoy your blogging break. We will be here when you return.


  21. have a nice break!

    hope to read you soon!

  22. Have a great break..well deserved..

    I would like mortadella better this way..Much better.They look wonderful..

    Bye for now~

  23. Dear Susan, Enjoy your blogging break!A warm hug...

  24. Yum! I have not had mortadella in a while (look out for that salt!) but I do enjoy the taste and the idea of this sandwich!
    Have a good rest and see you soon.

  25. Look forward to seeing what your are creating in your kitchen when you come back Susan!!

  26. This is certainly a novel idea. I had no kdea that the humble mortadella had so many influences in the mix while being made. My husband adores it. Yet, I do see how it would be bland with that recipe... or, very, very subtle. May sounds like the perfect partner... and one would have enough calories for a lunch! :)
    Enjoy your break.
    Blogging does take its toll. I love it, but not the pressure of it. So many of my local counterparts give and get no comments. That means they miss out on the interaction with their readers. Yet, I am sure your site is like mine, where only 2-5% of my readers even comment at all. I think of that when I am exhausted, as most of my tiredness comes from commenting on other sites. I cannot help myself, though. There is so much good work happening out there.
    Rest, but you will be missed!

  27. I recently subscribed to Saveur and am enjoying it. This sounds wonderful Susan! Enjoy your little break ;o)

  28. Enjoy your rest..I'm going to wait for your posts..... thank you for this very good recipe....I got all ingredients.....thanks and hugs, Flavia

  29. Enjoy your time off and have a great weekend.

  30. This recipes looks delicious. I know you are taking a blogging break and I hope you will see this. I didn't see anywhere to send you an email but I may not have been looking in the right place? On my post today I mentioned that I had borrowed a recipe from your blog for Crab Cakes. They are awesome and it is definitely a KEEPER recipe. Thank you so much for sharing.

    Carolyn/A Southerners Notebook

  31. These look fantastic! Hope you have a restful break and a wonderful weekend :)

  32. looks wonderful enjoy the break will miss you hugs Rebecca

  33. What a wonderful appetizer! Truly unique.

    Enjoy your blog break, Susan!

  34. Susan, thank you for visiting my blog! I really enjoy your recipes and photos. I am putting this recipe for mortadella spread on my list of things to make. I love mortadella with pistachios so I know I will enjoy this recipe. I have a lot of arugula in the garden right now.

  35. Oh I also wanted to mention that I was born in Menomonie Wisconsin. We moved to CA when I was 10, but WI will always be home to me. I have a sister that lives in Emerald and my Grandparents were from Milwaukee.

  36. I'll miss your wonderful food... hope you have a great break! Considering all the things I try... I have never had mortadella... I think it sounds like a wonderful idea. I can see why your husband loved it.

  37. I can't wait to have cold cuts again. This bruschetta looks so good with the different textures, salty meats and balsamic vinegar. I hope you have a great break.

  38. Susan, this look delicious, great to serve as appetizers...enjoy your break ans see you next month ;-) By the way, thank you so much for visiting my site.

  39. I saw that in the magazine too, Susan. Yours look so much better than theirs!
    They need to hire you for the pics! They look delicious! I like the mag, esp for 4.00 a year!

  40. Love Bruschetta, Susan. And this one is particularly delish!
    Have a fun break recharging!

  41. Enjoy your break! Looking forward to seeing your new posts!

  42. Have a nice rest, you certainly deserve it.

  43. Wooow!!!! I really enjoy your blog! thanks for such many good ideas!
    Greetings from madrid

  44. I think your addition of thyme was wise. Maybe even a little lemon zest to lift the flavors a bit. I love the idea of combining pistachios in the mix!
    Enjoy your break!

  45. enjoy your break- we will miss ya!


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