food Program

Mixed Mushroom Crostini with Fresh Herbs, Ricotta and Cayenne

Contributed by Megan Saynisch, from the Real Food Right Now series.

I love making crostini with whatever seasonal veggies I have on hand. These mushroom versions are great year-round, but especially this time of year when the pickings at the farmer’s market are so limited. Play around with the kind of mushrooms or herbs you use, or substitute goat cheese for the ricotta. Just make sure that your sauté pan is piping hot and that you don’t overcrowd your mushrooms – they won’t brown as nicely if they’re too crowded in the pan. 

Ingredients
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
12 pound mixed small mushrooms, such as buttons, crimini and oysters, or any combination, cleaned and sliced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons of fresh herbs, such as parsley, chives and thyme, or any combination
12 cup fresh ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon lemon juice
14 teaspoon cayenne
10-15 slices of baguette, cut on the diagonal
1 clove garlic, peeled and cut in half 
Additional extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
 
Directions 
Preheat the oven to 350F. 

Sauté the mushrooms: heat the olive oil in a large, heavy sauté pan until very hot, but not smoking. Add the mushrooms, taking care not to over crowd them. (If you don’t have a 10-12 inch sauté pan, consider sautéing the mushrooms in batches.) Sauté over medium-high heat for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, then add a pinch of salt and a grinding of pepper. Stir to coat. After a few more minutes, the mushrooms should start to release some of their liquid. Continue to sauté until all of the liquid is gone and the mushrooms have started to brown. 

Transfer the mushrooms to a bowl and taste and correct for salt. Gently stir in two tablespoons of the fresh herbs, reserving the last tablespoon for garnish.

Place the baguette slices on a sheet pan and toast in the oven for 10-15 minutes, turning once, until golden brown. Immediately rub each piece of baguette with the cut-side of one of the garlic clove halves, repeating with the other half if necessary.

In a small bowl, gently stir the ricotta, cayenne, lemon juice and a pinch of salt together. 

To serve: generously spread each baguette slice with the ricotta mixture. Top with some of the mushroom mixture and a sprinkling of fresh herbs. Serve immediately.

Learn more about mushrooms in Megan’s full post on Ecocentric Blog.