Have you ever noticed that sometimes the appetizers are just so good, you’d rather skip the main meal? The more we entertain, the more we opt for an array of appetizers as opposed to a massive meal. They’re fun to make, planning is easy, timing less important (hence you get more time to relax and enjoy yourself), and often they’re far less expensive, too. We’ve made everything from stuffed portobellos, to prosciutto wrapped melon and pears, to lox with crème fraiche and Dijon mustard. Of all of them, the recipe below is a definite crowd-pleaser—rich, creamy, and full of distinct flavors. Each bite-sized baguette piece dipped in the sauce is incredible!

Rosemary Gorgonzola Mushrooms in Boule

Original recipe: Cookstr.com.

Yield : 2½ cups

  • Slice ½ pound white mushrooms and ½ pound baby portobello mushrooms about ¼ inch thick. Set aside.
  • Put 4 tbsp (½ stick) unsalted butter and 2 tbsp olive oil into a large skillet and set over medium heat.
  • Add ½ onion, diced or thinly sliced to the pan.
  • Reduce the heat to low and cook the onions for 15 minutes until translucent.
  • Add the mushrooms and 4 sprigs fresh rosemary, raise the heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms give up their liquid.
  • Let the mixture simmer until the mushroom liquid has reduced by three quarters.
  • Add ¼ cup dry white wine and reduce again until the pan is almost dry.
  • Add 4 ounces of Gorgonzola and 1 cup heavy cream.
  • Bring to a simmer and reduce by half, stirring occasionally.
  • Stir in the salt and pepper and spoon into the hollowed-out boule.
  • Sourdough boule, top sliced off and soft inner bread pulled out (the boule is solely for presentation purposes, the sauce is just as delicious without it).
  • Mound sliced baguette (for dipping) around the boule and serve immediately.

N.B. Can make part of recipe ahead: the mushrooms can be cooked with the wine (before the cheese and cream are added) the day before. Reheat the mixture to continue.

N.B. II. For a rich, comforting treat, create a gourmet mac’n’cheese from the sauce. Cook orecchiette (“small ears”-shaped pasta, catches the sauce) al dente and drain. Make the sauce thicker by letting more liquid boil off than when making the dip. Add spinach, broccoli, pancetta, or anything else. Then mix orecchiette and sauce together, place in casserole dish, and top with layer of panko bread crumbs mixed with parmesan. Bake at 350º until golden on top.

Apps That Make Great Main Meals Around Town:

Publick House, Brookline – Moules Frites, mussels cooked in beer and served with Belgian fries.

Mini Bar, Huntington Ave –$2 Mini Kobe Beef Burgers, 5PM-7PM, Mon-Thurs. Oh, happy hour!

Deep Ellum, Allston—Cheese Plate or Charcuterie Plate. Or fries with Truffled Gorgonzola.

Elephant Walk, Boston/Cambridge/Waltham—Avocat Kanthor, Cambodian dish with raw tuna and avocado.

Brown Sugar Café, Fenway/Allston—Thai Ravioli or Brown Sugar Fresh Rolls

Share your thoughts on the best places with appetizers so we can check them out!