Friday, July 1, 2011

Mushroom Crostini

Right along side garlic and onions, mushrooms are one of my favorite ingredients. Something about the deliciously earthy little fungi make my heart go pitter patter.

As a result I cook with a lot of mushrooms. And garlic. And onion.

It's also pretty obvious that I like to eat 'small' food. Appetizer food. I have explained it before. It's just more fun.

And so I present to you a festival of fungi fantastic for the Fourth of July. On toast.

Ok, I might have gone a little overboard there for a minute. But I like the 'on toast' bit. And the crostini is worthy of going over the board just a smidge.

The earthy, pungent combination of the different 'shroom flavors paired with their individual 'chewy' and 'smooth' textures is just beautiful. Top that off with the heavenly aroma and flavor of fresh thyme, all topped on a perfectly toasted piece of garlic crostini and yes. We have a winner.

Yield: about 6-8 crostini

1 batch mushroom pate (super simple!)
1 loaf artisan bread, preferrably garlic
Extra virgin olive oil
Truffle salt
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1/2 red onion, chopped fine
5-6 shitake mushrooms, bit of the end chopped off and sliced
5-6 crimini mushrooms, sliced
5-6 oyster mushrooms, de-ended and sliced
The leaves of 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped (just the leaves)
Sea salt
Fresh cracked pepper
1 loaf artisan bread, preferrably garlic

Preheat oven to 375.

Slice your bread at an angle into about 3/4 to 1/2 inch thick pieces, depending on how thick you want your bread to be.

Arrange on a lined baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with truffle salt.

Meanwhile, in a medium pan, heat a little olive oil and sautee garlic and onions for about 1-2 minutes on medium heat. Add shitake and crimini mushrooms and let cook, stirring for another 2-3 minutes.

Once shitakes and criminis are barely soft, add the oyster mushrooms and thyme. Stir and let cook another 2-3 minutes until all mushrooms are tender.

Taste your mixture and add salt and pepper as needed.

While your mixture is cooking and when your oven is ready, put tray in and toast bread on one side for about 5 minutes or until very lightly toasted brown. Flip each piece and repeat for the other side.

Remove and turn off oven.

To prepare your crostini, first spread a thin layer of your mushroom pate evenly across the top of your toasty bread.

Then scoop a healthy amount of mushrooms atop each crostini, pressing down with your spoon as you go, so the mixture doesn't fall off when you move it around.

Arrange on a serving tray and you are ready to go.

If you don't mind cheese, you can also shave some sliver thin bits of aged manchego or even aged asiago on top, for a little something extra.

These are a great appetizer; they also make a lovely light meal served alongside a big green salad.



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