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Mushroom Crostini

Mushroom Crostini
Use any combination of fresh mushrooms as long as the total weight is 1 lb. Both the crostini and mushroom spread can be made ahead, which makes this a perfect recipe for the busy holiday season or anytime you're entertaining.

Ingredients:

For the crostini:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 24 slices coarse country bread, each about 1/2 inch
      thick and 3 inches in diameter
  • 1 garlic clove, halved

For the mushroom spread:

  • 5 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 lb. fresh white button mushrooms, brushed
      clean and chopped
  • 1/4 lb. fresh cremini mushrooms, brushed clean
      and chopped
  • 1/4 lb. fresh shiitake mushrooms, brushed
      clean, stems discarded and caps chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus
      whole leaves for garnish (optional)
  • 2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 tsp. dried
      thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. minced fresh rosemary or 1/4 tsp. dried
      rosemary
  • 1 tsp. coarse salt plus salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup drained, oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes,
      finely chopped, plus sun-dried tomato slivers
      for garnish (optional)

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 350°F. To make the crostini, lightly brush olive oil on both sides of each bread slice. Arrange the bread in a single layer on a baking sheet.

Bake until the crostini are golden on the edges, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Using the cut side of the garlic, lightly rub one side over each slice of bread. Set aside. The crostini can be made up to 1 week ahead and stored in an airtight container.

To make the mushroom spread, heat 2 Tbs. of the olive oil in a large fry pan over medium-high heat. Add all the mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, chopped parsley, thyme, rosemary, 1 tsp. salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes more.

Transfer the mushroom mixture to a food processor. Process until very finely chopped. With the processor running, add the remaining 3 Tbs. olive oil in a thin, steady stream, processing until the mixture is smooth and spreadable. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the chopped sun-dried tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. The mushroom spread can be made up to 1 day ahead and stored, covered, in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Spread each piece of bread with about 1 Tbs. of the mushroom mixture. Arrange on a platter and garnish each crostini with a parsley leaf and/or a sliver of sun-dried tomato.
Makes 24 crostini; serves 12.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Lifestyles Series, Holiday Celebrations, by Marie Simmons (Time-Life Books, 1998).