It is the season for appetizers so naturally I’m bringing you another delicious appetizer recipe. This simple crostini with garlic, mushrooms and creamy brie cheese is made even more delicious by the use of Pain Paillasse. You can find this hand made rustic bread in the bakery at Heinen’s.
What is Pain Paillasse?
Pain Paillasse 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. Plain, this is delicious as it 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 my crostini and the bits of sweet fruit grilled with butter in my cast iron pan added a delicious texture and flavor to these crostini.
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 leaving a free hand for your cocktail.
Brie and Mushroom Pain Paillasse Crostini
- 1 loaf of Pain Paillasse *
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 pound baby portobello mushrooms
- large pinch salt and pepper
- 1 clove garlic peeled and minced
- 6 oz Brie, sliced
- 6 sprigs of fresh thyme
- Lightly toast the bread on both sides under a broiler or toast 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 a medium-high heat for 5-6 minutes until the mushroom turn brown and a little bit crisp at the edges.
- Then turn down the heat and stir in the salt, pepper and garlic. Cook for 1 more minute, then turn the heat down to 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.
* Substitute brioche or sourdough or a rustic country loaf where Paillasse is not available.
About the Author
Photographer Sally Roeckell specializes in contemporary lifestyle portraiture with an emphasis on food photography. Her Blog, Table and Dish is a website devoted to celebrating and curating the many ways that food binds us. Sally hopes that her recipes and images will inspire you to gather your friends and family in the kitchen to make memories, use the time to connect with busy kids, chat over mixing bowls, get messy, laugh, sing, set the table, clear the table, pass the salt, debate the days topics and pray. You can follow her here as a weekly contributor to 365Barrington and Heinen’s as well as via Table and Dish on Instagram and on her website at TableAndDish.com.
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Heinen’s Grocery is located at 500 N. Hough Street, between E. Main Street and Route 14 (next to Meatheads) in Barrington, Illinois. They’re open 7 days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. For more information, visit Heinens.com.