Today is my Dad’s birthday.
Want to know something pretty weird? My parents are born in the exact same year. Because of this, I always thought that everyone’s parents were the exact same age. This was mostly untrue.
But, in another weird twist, my roommate Marnie’s parents are also both born in the same year. In fact, the same year as my parents. Her dad is also a few months older then her mum. And I am only one month older than her (not even a month).
So, there’s some random information you guys don’t care about.
As for these crostini’s – they’re for my Dad. When I was in high school and incredibly stressed, or whenever I complained about being hungry and that there was nothing in the house (which was A LOT), he would offer to make me toast with cheese and soft mushrooms. It was, and remains, one of the best things he can make.
These crostini’s, in my opinion, are not like my Dad’s. They comes close, but they’re not quite the same. He made his on toast or sourdough, with buttery fried mushrooms and different cheese – not necessarily ricotta all the time.
Having said that, please do try this dish. I’m not trying to scare you away. This is a really good, quick entree or light meal. I would totally make these as canapés for a party (served warm from the oven), or as an entree at a dinner party or for a light lunch or snack. You don’t have to make them baguette style – you can always make them on regular bread (though I’d recommend some kind of yummy, thick, doughy, bread like sourdough).
I would not recommend changing the cheese on these – the flavours of the ricotta, mushrooms and parmesan just work so well together. The mushrooms are soft and tangy, while the bread is dense and chewy. The ricotta is much heavier tasting the parmesan, but the sharp kick from the sprinkle of parmesan definitely adds something to this dish.
So, Dad, this is for you. Thanks for making sure I survived high school and that awful first year of university. Thanks for making sure Mum and I didn’t kill each other. Thanks for making sure I didn’t kill my brother (which as we all know, may still happen). Thanks for teaching me the value of kindness. Thanks for believing in me.
Level of Difficulty: Easy – oh, so easy
Average Cost: $$ - depends on the mushrooms and the bread you buy
Main Ingredients: mushrooms, parmesan and ricotta
Menu Options: I really wouldn’t recommend changing too much about this recipe. It is pretty simple, very easy to make and does not require a lot of time or attention. You can change the cheeses around – goats cheese or fetta might work, but you would have to play with flavours as I don’t think parmesan would suit either goats cheese or fetta. You can obviously use your favourite type of mushrooms – mine just happens to be swiss brown mushrooms.
Makes 8 crostinis- nutritional value is approximate here, as it is difficult to calculate how much bread, parmesan, lemon juice and thyme is used.
What you need:
- Large wholemeal baguette or sourdough loaf
- 4 large swiss brown mushrooms (or other type, these are just my favourite)
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 crushed garlic clove
- 2 tbsp ricotta cheese
- Parmesan, to serve
- Lemon juice, to serve,
- Dried thyme, to serve
What to do:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. While the oven is heating up, cut the baguette into 8 thick slices. You don’t want the bread too thick, and most times I can cut my baguette into 16 slices. If you wish to make 16 crostinis do so, just remember to double the recipe.
Slice the mushrooms finely. Over medium-high heat, melt the butter in a frypan. Add the garlic to the butter when it is just starting to melt, so the flavours combine. Add the mushrooms to the frypan and the bread to the oven at the same time.
Bake the bread for five minutes, turning halfway.
Fry the mushrooms for five minutes, constantly stirring to ensure they are coated in garlic and butter.
When the bread is a golden brown (which may take longer than 5 minutes depending on your oven) remove from the oven and play on a tray.
Leave the mushrooms over heat.
Divide the ricotta evenly among the baguette rounds, using a knife to spread the cheese over the surface of each round.
Add the sautéed mushrooms to the top of each baguette, dividing the number of mushrooms evenly among the baguette rounds.
Top each crostini with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, a tsp or so of lemon juice (simply squirting the juice unscientifically from the bottle is fine), and dried thyme.
Serve while warm.