Cremini & Goat Cheese Crostini
by Brenda Kong
Sounds fancy doesn't it? Imagine your Valentine walking in the door and the heavenly smell of herbs and garlic hit their senses. Their mouths immediately water and there you are; you domestic Psoriatic God/Goddess with a plateful of these amazingly simple sautéed cremini mushrooms lounging on a bed of creamy herbaceous goat cheese slathered on crisp toast. They take a bite, their senses are overloaded and you smile softly, beckoning them to follow you into the kitchen where chilled glasses of wine await.
Valentine's Day is stress-free when you're home with your loved one and not fighting the crowds at a restaurant or dealing with the inflation of prices. Planning a simple meal at home that's low on effort but high in taste while remaining good for you isn't hard at all.
Cremini mushrooms, also called "Baby Bellas" are meaty, readily available and so easy to cook. The secret is to not move the mushrooms too much while they're cooking. This allows them to brown and caramelize, deepening their earthy flavor. You'll get sexy mushrooms and not a watery mess. Best of all, you can make the sautéed mushrooms and whipped herb goat cheese in advance, leaving you to simply toast some bread before assembling. If you're gluten free, this is a great time to use gluten-free bread! I used my favorite bread, a cracked wheat sourdough with sunflower and sesame seeds, sprayed lightly with olive oil, toasted until crisp. They look great, taste even better and are virtually guilt free. It's Valentine's Day after all, shall we indulge?
Herbed Goat Cheese Spread:
- 4oz soft Goat Cheese
- 2 tbsp. Greek Yogurt
- 1 tbsp. Chives, chopped
- 1 tbsp. Oregano, chopped
- 1 tbsp. Parsley, chopped
- 8oz Cremini Mushrooms, or mushrooms of choice, diced into ¼ inch pieces
- 2 sprigs of Thyme
- 1 large Garlic Clove, chopped
- 1 tbsp. Olive Oil
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Bread of choice
- Olive Oil spray
- Scallions or Chives
- Mix together Herb Goat Cheese spread, season lightly with salt, set aside.
- Over medium heat, add olive oil to frying pan, add mushrooms, tossing lightly to coast with oil. Spread into a single layer and don't touch them anymore. Yes, I said it, let them brown and caramelize for 5 mins. I know it's tempting to pull out your "Food Network" moves, but you'll get watery mushrooms if you touch them!
- Add chopped garlic and thyme. I don't bother taking the thyme off the stem; I throw it all in and remove the stem later! Toss mushrooms briefly to mix garlic and thyme, once again, spread into a single layer. Let cook for an additional 5 mins before setting aside.
- Lightly spray bread with olive oil or spray of choice, toast until crisp. Set aside.
- Let's assemble! Lightly spread toast pieces with Goat Cheese Spread, top with Sautéed Mushrooms and scallions (or chives).
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