Matsutake Pane Forza with Nepitella Salsa Verde

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Chef John Eisenhart
Pazzo Ristorante

{Serves 4}

Chef's note: Preparation is a two-day process. Start the day before you plan to serve this dish.


Day One

  1. Place the ciabatta inside loaf pan and set aside.
  2. Sweat the matsutake, garlic, shallot, butter, celery, leek, salt and pepper in a saucepan on low heat. Stir constantly to avoid caramelizing.
  3. When the vegetables are fragrant and soft, add flour and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Set aside.
  4. In a separate bowl, blend the half and half, citric acid, sage, thyme and egg yolks to make a custard base.
  5. Add this to the cooled vegetable/flour mixture and soak it into the bread.
  6. Place the loaf pan inside a larger, high-sided baking pan and fill halfway with water. Cover it with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes at 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

Day Two

  1. Cut the bread into even shapes and coat them in flour.
  2. In a sauté pan, cook the bread in olive oil on medium-high heat to color each side.
  3. Set aside in a warm spot before serving.

Nepitella Salsa Verde

{Makes 1 ½ cups}

  1. Blanch and shock herbs. Puree them with the anchovy and just enough olive oil to create a thick but pourable consistency.
  2. Hand-chop the egg whites and capers. Fold them into the herb/anchovy mix. Season with salt to taste.