Usually, bruschetta calls to mind the flavors of summer-grill smoke, ripe tomatoes and fresh basil. But bruschetta is a great cold weather nosh or appetizer, too. The secret is mushrooms.
1 baguette, sliced diagonally
3 to 4 Tbsp. olive oil
3 minced garlic cloves
1 pound mixed mushrooms, sliced or chopped into similar-sized pieces
3 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
Toast the bread slices. Gently sauté the garlic in the olive oil until it’s soft, then add the mushrooms and turn up the heat.
Cook 3 or 4 minutes, season with salt and pepper and remove from heat.
Stir in the parsley and thyme and spoon the mushrooms over the toast. You can spread the toast with soft goat cheese or ricotta before spooning on the mushrooms. You can add a couple of teaspoons of balsamic vinegar to the mushrooms while they cook. You can crumble blue cheese over the mushrooms. We could go on and on with variations, but you get the idea.
-Mary Brown Malouf