I am a procrastinator. Always have been.
I drive myself (and family) crazy, yet it’s one of the hardest habits to change. Case in point: I had one hour yesterday between appointments and picking kids up from their various activities. I should have used that hour to make dinner, sweep my floors or even fold the three piles of clean laundry dumped on my bed. See? Lots of options to choose from. Choosing one of those things would have been helpful.
Here’s what I did instead: I sautéed mushrooms in butter, garlic, balsamic vinegar and fresh herbs. Then I spread a thick layer of goat cheese on warm sourdough toast and piled the mushrooms on top. I ate the last of the mushrooms straight from the pan because there was no way I was leaving any to go to waste, running out the door to pick up my kids without one extra minute to spare.
Personally, I love mushrooms. I remember liking them as a kid, and any time I can sneak them into a recipe, I’m all for it. I happened to have a container of button mushrooms I had intended to use for kebabs on the grill. But our life is nuts right now and a dinner that takes longer than 10 minutes to pull together just isn’t happening. So kebabs were out, but I didn’t want to waste what I already bought.
I saw a picture on Pinterest of the most gorgeous mushroom toasts, and with that in mind I set out to make my own version. I cook this way a lot, finding inspiration in a photo and attempting to create my own version of what I saw.
By the way, I get it if mushrooms just aren’t your thing. I kind of hate tomatoes and as much as I’ve tried over and over to get on board, I just can’t. So, I get it. Skip this one if you hate mushrooms.
• Andrea McCoy writes the column Kitchen Captivated for Yakima Magazine and at The Salt and Stone, a home cooking blog. The Salt and Stone is a nod not just to the essence of cooking, but also to the Yakima Valley. Read more at www.thesaltandstone.com.
Balsamic Mushroom Tartine
4 ounces mushrooms (button, shitake or whatever you can find at the grocery store)
1 tablespoon salted butter
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1-2 tablespoons fresh rosemary and chives, minced
Kosher salt and black pepper
Good sourdough bread, toasted
Use a damp rag and wipe any dirt from the mushrooms. Slice in half or chop into 1/2-inch pieces. You don’t want tiny bits because the mushrooms cook down, but at the same time they should be small enough that they are easy to eat.
In a cast iron pan (or regular sauté pan if you don’t have one), cook the mushrooms in the butter over medium heat, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes. When the mushrooms are tender and have some color and crispy edges, add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the balsamic vinegar and stir vigorously. Turn the heat to low and sprinkle the mushrooms with salt and pepper. When the vinegar is completely absorbed by the mushrooms and the vegetables are deeply caramelized, turn off the heat. Sprinkle with fresh herbs, reserving a small amount to sprinkle over the toasts.
Toast thick slices of sourdough bread. Spread an even layer of goat cheese on the toast. Scoop the mushrooms onto the toasts and sprinkle with the last of the herbs and a tiny sprinkle of kosher salt. Enjoy!