The perfect appetizer? Mushroom crostini with goat cheese crumbles. Warm toasted bread, gently rubbed with fresh garlic, gets topped with mushrooms sautéed in butter. Crumbled goat cheese and fresh thyme complete the flavours for a great starter of a winter meal.
Is it cold where you are? It definitely is up here in Sweden. Pitch black night by 4 PM, it’s the season where you enjoy all sorts of candles and lamps on windowsills. Comfort food in the winter is a need. There’s nothing like warm toasted bread…
These mushroom crostini with goat cheese were first made one day when we dined at a friend’s place but I had offered to take care of the food. I really wanted them to come over, but they have a small baby and it was just easier to eat at their place. I still wanted to be the host, at least when it comes to food. So I packed up all the ingredients to make this wonderful appetizer and headed for the kitchen.
What you need to make mushroom crostini
- Bread, obviously. Choose one that is crusty on the outside and has fairly large bubbles of air inside. Pain au levain, ciabatta, that kind of bread. While it may seem odd to have larger holes when you need to top your crostini, this kind of bread will have the perfect texture.
- Mushrooms. I went with cremini mushrooms as those are among my favourite when it comes to cultivated mushrooms – aka those available in stores. One day I was lucky enough to get freshly harvested chanterelles from a colleague, and if you have access to those go for them! Otherwise, simple champignon mushrooms will work just great.
- Goat cheese. Since we’re crumbling the cheese here, choose a fresh one. So not the ripened version, but the soft one. I used a soft log, but soft chèvre comes in different shapes.
- Butter. You need a fair share of butter in this recipe. Some will go on the bread, some will be used to sauté the mushrooms. Definitely the condiment number one, here.
- Garlic. Although not using much, garlic will be as important as butter. A fresh garlic clove is rubbed onto the crusty bread, for an authentic bruschetta feel and a great flavour.
- Shallot, thyme and black pepper. Just for some more flavour. Because 5-ingredient recipes are great, but I can never get enough of spices and fresh herbs!
Mushroom crostini goat cheese recipe
Here’s a short explanation of the mushroom crostini recipe. For detailed quantities and directions refer to the recipe card below. Mushroom crostini are a fairly easy appetizer that is ready in less than one hour. They taste absolutely fantastic warm, but are equally delicious cold. If they might get cold by the time you have to take them to the table and you want them warm, skip the thyme and pop them in the oven for a few minutes; then add the fresh thyme on freshly warmed crostini.
First of all, spread some butter on the bread. Toast the bread in the oven – the butter will melt and the bread will get nice and crispy. I like to have it all properly crispy, but if you prefer a softer bite don’t leave it too long. Oven time will change depending on type of bread and thickness of each slice, anyway.
While the bread is in the oven, clean and cut both the mushrooms and the onion. Add some butter and a couple of thyme sprigs to a saucepan and let the thyme flavour the butter. After a couple of minutes, discard the thyme and add the minced shallot; sauté the onion until soft. Then add the mushrooms and sauté until soft. When the mushrooms are cooked, take away from the heat and add salt to taste. Stir in to distribute the salt.
When the bread slices have reached the desired level of crispiness, take them out of the oven. Peel a garlic clove and gently rub it onto every bread slice, on the top side that had been buttered. This is an essential passage when making bruschetta, and definitely not one you want to skip. There will be no garlic bits to bite but only the flavour of the garlic, directly infused in the bread.
Top each crostini with sautéed mushrooms. Crumble some fresh chèvre over each crostini and decorate with fresh thyme. While being a lovely decoration, fresh thyme pairs with that of mushrooms and goat cheese so we’re not only adding it as a decoration, really. I recommend eating it, to fully appreciate its flavour, but some guests might discard the fresh herbs thinking they were only meant as decoration. Lastly, crack some black pepper over the crostini.
These mushroom crostini with crumbled goat cheese and fresh thyme are so pretty they’re basically ready to serve. Place them on a nice serving plate or board and enjoy with a glass of white wine. While this recipe was tested at my friend’s place, I did not succeed as a photographer that night. We kind of took our time and by the time dinner was ready the sun had set and the light was not great for photos anymore. I mean, sometimes you just gotta live a little… So I made them again another day (sorry not sorry!) and took to my camera as soon as I was done. Big thanks to my assistent who also took advantage of the setting to take some photos on her phone. She deserved it after posing with a garlic clove.
Late fall dinner ideas
Mushroom chèvre crostini are a great appetizer, but what to eat next? Here are some recipes that can complete this one and turn these garlicky crostini into the first course of a fantastic late fall dinner. My suggestions for a perfect three-course meal would be:
- Roasted butternut squash and red lentil soup which was what we actually ate that night we had these crostini at our friends’ place. Sweet and creamy, it was actually perfect eaten together with those crostini!
- Creamy chanterelle risotto would be another lovely suggestion, also to keep mushrooms the stars of the show.
- My pork loin in hazelnut sauce would be my recommendation if you prefer a meat dish. I just love the creamy hazelnut sauce the baked pork loin is dipped in.
No dinner is complete without dessert, so here are my picks:
- Polish apple cake Fale Dunaju, because nothing’s better than apples in the fall!
- Maple pecan no-bake cheesecake. Cheesecake is always a good idea, so why not go for the lovely maple pecan combo?
- Sweet potato cake with brown butter frosting with the warming tones of cardamom and browned butter is definitely a win!
What other dishes would you serve after these mushroom goat cheese crostini? Let me know in the comments, I’m always up for some dinner inspiration!
Garlicky mushroom crostini with crumbled goat cheese
A perfect appetizer for the colder season. Toasted sourdough breat smeared with fresh garlic and butter gets topped with sauteed mushrooms and crumbed goat cheese.
- 250 g mushrooms
- 4-6 slices sourdough bread (ciabatta or similar)
- 20+80 g butter (divided)
- 100 g fresh chevre
- 1 small shallot
- 1 garlic clove
- fresh thyme sprigs
- freshly cracked black pepper
- salt to taste
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Lay bread slices on an oven tray and spread some of the butter on the side facing up. Toast bread slices in the oven for 18-20 minutes, until golden and crispy, then take out of the oven.
In the meantime, clean and slice the mushrooms, then peel and finely mince the shallot. Set a frying pan on medium heat and melt 20 g of butter together with 3 thyme sprigs. Stir the thyme sprigs around in the butter, letting them flavour it. After a couple of minutes, discard the thyme sprigs and add the shallot to the flavoured butter. Sautee the onion for 2-3 minutes, until soft. Lower the heat if the onion starts to brown. Add the mushrooms and sautee for 5-7 minutes, until the mushrooms are wilted and the water they release has evaporated. Sprinkle some salt to taste, give it a stir and remove from the heat.
Rub toasted bread slices with a fresh garlic clove. Top the toasted bread slices with cooked mushrooms. Crumble goat cheese over every mushroom crostini and add a sprinkle of freshly cracked black pepper as well as fresh thyme sprigs.
If planning to warm these crostini at a later time, just skip the freshly cracked black pepper and fresh thyme and leave this final flavouring to when the crostini are ready to go to the table. Fresh thyme might wilt in the oven, while black pepper has a stronger flavour when it's freshly cracked just before serving.