Mushrooms are having a moment. Work the fungi into your diet with this tasty toast from Vegetable Kingdom: The Abundant World of Vegan Recipes by Bryant Terry.
How to Make Caramelized Leek and Seared Mushroom Toast
(Makes 4 servings)
Mustard-pine nut spread
3/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 1/2 Tbsp. whole-grain mustard
1 tsp. dark agave nectar
Fine sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
1 lb. wild mushrooms, such as maitake, chestnut, or chanterelle
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus some to brush on the bread
1 cup finely chopped leek (about 1 medium)
1 Tbsp. minced fresh thyme
4 thick slices sourdough or other rustic bread
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh tarragon
Flaky sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
Make the spread
In a small skillet, toast the pine nuts over medium-high heat, shaking the pan for even cooking, until they start turning golden, about 3 minutes. Using a mortar and pestle, grind the nuts into a fine paste. Add the olive oil, mustard, agave, a pinch of salt, and a few turns of white pepper, and stir well to combine. Set aside.
Make the toast
Clean the mushrooms. Remove any tough stems and, if you are using larger mushrooms, chop them to ensure all pieces are fairly uniform in size.
In a cast-iron skillet, warm 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. When it starts to shimmer, add the mushrooms and a generous pinch of salt, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Cook, stirring often and scraping the pan, until the liquid released by the mushrooms has fully evaporated and the mushrooms are starting to brown, 7 to 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, transfer the mushrooms to a medium bowl, and set aside.
In the same skillet, warm the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-low heat until shimmering. Add the leek and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the thyme and a pinch of salt, and cook until the leek is browning and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
Position an oven rack about 6 inches from the broiler heat element, and preheat the broiler to high.
Arrange the bread on a baking sheet and broil until golden brown. Flip the bread and broil for about 30 seconds on the other side; take it out of the oven quickly, so it doesn’t burn.
To serve, arrange one slice of toast on each of four small plates and brush with olive oil. Generously slather on the mustard-pine nut spread, spoon on the leek mixture, then evenly distribute the mushrooms over the top. Garnish each with a tiny bit of tarragon (just enough for a few pops of flavor), then season with flake salt and a few turns of white pepper, and enjoy.
Recipe reprinted with permission from Vegetable Kingdom: The Abundant World of Vegan Recipes by Bryant Terry, copyright © 2020. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.
This story is from the 2022 edition of Health Guide. Read more stories here.