Mushroom toasts – mushrooms on toast. It may sound pretty basic but you can make it as special or fancy as you like. I used truffle oil which is the only really extravagant ingredient in the recipe below so leave it out if you prefer but everything else is surprisingly cheap. Just piles of fresh mushrooms, shiitakes, chestnuts and oysters here, a variety is best but buy whatever is in season. What makes a huge difference is the porcini dust! Dried porcinis essentially last forever, can be found in jars in most supermarkets and blitzing them to a fine powder with some salt makes for a delicious seasoning that is so full of that illusive umami. If anyone is struggling to get their heads round umami, I would tell them the it is that savoury/meaty taste you get from mushrooms or soy sauce. If they still didn’t get it, I would make them these mushroom toasts because they are teaming with it!
I opted to toast the bread on my grill pan because it gives it a really nice smokey taste that complimented all that umami. I wouldn’t toast them on a barbecue though as, I feel, bread becomes too smokey then. This might sound a bit too fancy for a weekend lunch for one but it takes no time at all and, excluding the truffle oil, the ingredients are cheap and can be found at any good greengrocer or farmers market.
- 20g dried porcini mushrooms
- 2 tsp coarse sea salt
- 340g fresh mushrooms, I used chestnut mushrooms, oyster and shiitake
- 6 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 4 slices of crusty white bread, buttered on both sides or drizzled with olive oil
- 1 knob of butter
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
- a good grinding of pepper
- 150ml cream
- half a tsp of truffle oil
- First make the porcini dust by grinding the dried porcinis and salt together. A pestle and mortar will take an age so I used an electric spice grinder.
- Then halve or quarter any big mushrooms and set aside.
- Butter both sides each slice of toast and toast on a grill pan until charred and tiger-striped on both sides. Then set aside.
- Now heat a large frying pan over a high heat and add the butter and oil. Once the butter starts to foam, pile in the chopped mushrooms. Stir just to coat before you add the crushed garlic and stir them in. Now add the leaves from the thyme sprigs, stir them in too and add the ground pepper.
- Once the mushrooms have had about 2 minutes on a high heat, pour over the cream and turn the heat down to medium.
- After another 2 minutes add in most of the parsley and 3 tsp of the porcini dust. Keep the rest to season steaks.
- Once that's mixed in, taste to check for seasoning and adjust if needs be. Then turn off the heat and drizzle over the truffle oil. Stir that in and spoon the mushroom mixture over the toast slices. Tope them with another grating of pepper and some parsley leaves and serve.