Mushroom 500 Flatbreadfeatured

As featured in Bay Area Bites, April 28, 2009.

Every once in awhile I will dine out and happen upon a dish that is so good I spend the entire evening scheming about how I can recreate it at home. Coco500’s truffled mushroom flatbread with sea salt and chili is one of them. It is the perfect bite of crispy flatbread, earthy, robust mushroom, and salty parmigiano.

I knew it would be hard to fully recreate the experience — so much of it is in the flatbread — but I knew I could come close, and while I would love nothing more than to jaunt off to Coco500 every time I have a hankering, this is much easier.

For my take on this, I opted to scale down the fancy factor so it could be an easy and inexpensive snack or party hors d’oeuvre (it was a hit at Spooning with Strangers, and great because i could make the spread ahead of time and assemble and toast up right before serving). The beauty of this recipe is in its flexibility. Ambitious? Make your own flatbread. Not so ambitious? Store-bought whole wheat pita works wonderfully. Or, try slicing and toasting up some baguette for a crostini.

Also, feel free to play with the type of mushrooms you use. If the button mushrooms are looking good at the market this week, go for those. My favorite has been baby portabellos lately. And since I came across some lovely spring morel mushrooms, I decided to sautee them up and throw them on top for this last batch.

The recipe below is the basic base for your dish, but the fun is in playing with it and making it your own.

Mushroom 500 Flatbread

Yield: Serves 4

With inspiration from Coco 500’s truffled mushroom flatbread with sea salt and chili.


    For the duxelles:
  • 1 pound baby portabello mushrooms, cleaned
  • ¼ cup shallots (or 1/2 medium onion)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A few dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Flatbread or pita


  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Roughly chop mushrooms, shallots (or onion), and garlic, and place in food processor. Process until everything is finely minced.
  3. Heat butter and oil in a pan. Place mushroom mixture in, add the rest of the ingredients, and sautee until it becomes a paste-like consistency.
  4. Spread the duxelles on flatbread. Sprinkle liberally with Parmigiano Reggiano, and bake until cheese is melted and golden (about 8-10 minutes).


Feel free to play with the type of mushrooms you use for your base of duxelles (fancy French for "mushroom spread”). If you want to go all out, by all means, add some shaved truffle, or finish it off with truffle oil or salt. Not necessary though, this is perfectly delicious without the expensive stuff.

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