My cousin, Katrina, is a mushroom fiend. She’s utterly smitten with them and who can blame her? Mushrooms lend an earthy, meaty quality to just about anything. In fact they’ve recently snuck into my gratins, been the star of a silky bisque and a supporting cast member in a chicken soup. And they’re the ideal topper for these chévre laden crostini.
I had three things in mind when I was recipe-testing these. 1. The holidays are coming up and everyone needs an easy-to-make hors d’oeuvre. 2. Everything is better on a crunchy piece of bread. It’s a fact. Look it up.
3. Katrina will love them! I sautéed crimini and oyster mushrooms with tender leeks and plenty of fresh rosemary, thyme and garlic. We’re not afraid of garlic around here, right?
The shrooms and leeks needed a bed to nestle in and this spreadable pepper chevre comes together quickly with a log of goat cheese, a little cream and freshly ground black pepper. If you’re not a fan of goat cheese, cream cheese, fresh ricotta or that herb-flecked Boursin cheese would work well, too.
These would be perfect for a light nosh before a big meal or a tempting treat to be passed around at a holiday cocktail party. Put a tray of these under your guests’ noses and you won’t have to offer twice, promise.
- 1 french baguette, sliced into 1/2" slices
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 pound mushrooms (I used oyster and crimini - but mix it up and try button, chanterelle or enoki)
- 1 leek
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 4 ounces goat cheese
- 3-4 tablespoons cream
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- chopped chives for garnish
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Lightly brush both sides of the bread with 2 tablespoons olive and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes on one side, flip the bread and bake for another 8-10 minutes, until crisp and lightly golden. Set aside.
- Trim the root and dark green leaves from the leek. Slice in half, vertically, then slice into 1/4" half moons. Transfer the leeks to a bowl of water and use your hands to swish the leeks in the water to remove any dirt or grit. The dirt will sink to the bottom of the bowl. Lift the leeks out of the water and transfer to a bowl lined with paper towels to dry.
- Meanwhile, slice the mushrooms into 1/4" slices and prep the herbs and garlic.
- Heat the remaining two tablespoons olive oil over medium heat in a heavy saucepan with a lid. Add the mushrooms and leeks and sprinkle with the kosher salt. Stir and place the lid on the pan to sweat the vegetables. Check the vegetables every 2 minutes, stirring until the mushrooms and leeks have softened. 5-8 minutes. Add the thyme, rosemary and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes until softened and fragrant. Place the lid on the pan and turn off the heat and let the vegetables rest.
- In a small bowl mix the goat cheese, cream and black pepper. Stir until smooth, creamy and spreadable. Spread a small spoonful of goat cheese onto the crostini. Top with mushroom mixture. Can be made 2-3 hours in advance to this point and refrigerated until ready to serve.
- When you're ready to serve, heat the crostini for 5 minutes at 350 degrees to warm them through. Garnish with chives and serve,