It is the season for appetizers, so naturally, I’m bringing you another delicious finger food recipe perfect for the holidays! This simple crostini with garlic, mushrooms and creamy brie cheese is made even more delicious by the use of Pain Paillasse Artisan Bread. You can find this hand made rustic bread in the bakery at Heinen’s.
What is Pain Paillasse, you ask? It is an artisanal bread made with selected wheat. It typically has a crispy crust, a honeycomb texture and a long twisted shape. Paillasse is often flavored with herbs and fruit. I purchased three loaves to try them out. The first variety I bought was plain. It is delicious as is and even better toasted. I also tried pumpkin seed and fig (YUM!) and apricot-cranberry (my favorite). I used the apricot-cranberry loaf to make these crostinis and the bits of sweet fruit grilled with butter in my cast iron pan added delicious texture and flavor.
The sautéed mushrooms with garlic and fresh thyme atop smooth, creamy brie cheese made the perfect topper for this delicious pan-toasted bread. It makes a nice two-bite appetizer, easily handled with one hand, which is very important for the holidays. We all need a free hand for our cocktails.
Brie and Mushroom Crostini
- 1 loaf of Pain Paillasse *
- 1 tbsp. butter
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 pound baby Portobello mushrooms
- Large pinch of salt and pepper
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
- 6 oz. Brie, sliced
- 6 sprigs of fresh thyme
* Substitute brioche or sourdough or a rustic country loaf if you prefer.
- Lightly toast the bread on both sides under a broiler or in a hot cast iron pan with butter. I prefer the cast iron method as it creates delicious caramelized edges.
- Heat the butter and oil in a large skillet. Place the mushrooms in the pan and fry on medium-high heat for 5-6 minutes until the mushrooms turn brown and crisp at the edges.
- Turn down the heat and stir in the salt, pepper and garlic. Cook for 1 more minute, then turn the heat down very low.
- Place the slices of brie on the toast and put back under the broiler for just a few seconds to melt.
- Strip two of the thyme sprigs of the leaves and stir through the garlic mushrooms. Spoon on top of the brie, then top each toast slice with a sprig of thyme.