Crispy Roasted Beech Mushrooms

This is a snack I made around the cocktail hour. If you like mushrooms, you’ll love these. There are clean and ready to use. The Brown Beech mushroom, or Bunashimeji, and the White Beech mushroom, or Bunapi has a nutty, buttery flavor, and a firm, crunchy texture. The mushrooms grow in clusters and produce tender caps.
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Crispy Roasted Beech Mushrooms

Makes about 2 cups

1 lb white and/or brown beech mushrooms
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F with a rack set about 4 inches from the heat source. Put a baking sheet on the rack to heat up while you prep the mushrooms.

Use a knife to cut off just enough of the base to separate the mushrooms-you may need to use your hand to help separate them. Discard the bases and put the mushrooms into a large mixing bowl. Drizzle the olive oil over the mushrooms and season with 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Toss to coat.

Remove the hot baking sheet from the oven and pour the mushrooms onto the sheet. Use a spatula to gently spread out the mushrooms into a single layer. Roast until mostly golden brown and crispy, about 20 minutes, using a spatula to turn the mushrooms occasionally so that they cook evenly.

Season the mushrooms liberally with salt and pile in a small bowl. Serve immediately as a snack.

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Savory Mushroom Spread

Here is another hors d’oeuvres to put out in the living room to get all those very “helpful” relatives out of the kitchen! It’s quick and easy and you can make it ahead. I love mushrooms!
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Savory Mushroom Spread

Serves 4

2 -3 Tbs butter
1/2 lb fresh mushrooms, chopped
1 Tbs shallot, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbs dry white wine
1 Tbs fresh thyme, chopped
2 Tbs sour cream
salt and pepper

Melt butter in skillet. Add mushrooms, shallots, thyme and garlic and sauté about 6 minutes on med-high heat. Add wine and cook until most of the liquid is gone. Cool mixture. Remove to serving bowl and stir in sour cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve with baguettes or crackers.

Toasted Brie & Mushroom Open Faced Sandwich

Last weekend, we had lunch at The Little Flower Candy Company in Pasadena.  I ordered this mushroom and brie sandwich that was absolutely delicious.  I don’t think of using lemon with mushrooms, but it really works to add a brightness to the dish.

This is what is says on the menu:
garlic mushrooms and brie toasted and served open faced on baguette with fresh thyme and lemon zest

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Toasted Brie & Mushroom Open Faced Sandwich

1/2 loaf bread loaf of choice sliced in half
1 cup cremini mushrooms, sautéed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
sea salt to taste
2 oz brie, cut into slices
Zest of one lemon
1 ½ tsp fresh thyme leaves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat olive oil in a small saucepan. Add mushrooms and saute for about five minutes. When mushrooms are nearly cooked, add minced garlic and sea salt and cook for a minute or two. Set aside mushrooms. Place bread face-up on a parchment-lined baking pan. Spread mushrooms on bread. Arrange brie slices on top of mushrooms. Bake for five minutes or until brie is melted. Remove from oven, and sprinkle with thyme and lemon zest.