While rosemary is my all-time favorite herb, I have a special place in my heart for fresh thyme. Light and lemony, the flavor blends well with many ingredients and never seems to overpower the final dish—whether a simple vegetable soup or hearty lamb roast. Though thyme is available in supermarkets year-round, it is summer-seasonal, peaking now. Recently, I picked up a large bunch at my local farmers' market and used it to make this wild mushroom crostini from the September issue of Bon Appetit.
There are two great aspects of this recipe. First, both the mushroom mixture and the thyme vinaigrette can be prepared a day ahead (ideal for entertaining). Second, the leftover mushrooms are delectable when tossed into a skillet with scrambled eggs and the vinaigrette makes a delightfully light dressing for simple mixed greens.
If you're budget conscious, don't stress about the truffle oil in the ingredient list. I recently received a small bottle of white truffle-flavored oil ($45—and not even the real thing!) as a gift, and tried the crostini both with and without it. Sure, it added an extra element of deliciousness, but in the end, it didn't feel like an essential component to the dish.
- Mushroom Topping:
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 12 ounces assorted wild mushrooms (such as stemmed shiitake, oyster, black trumpet, and crimini), sliced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- Thyme Vinaigrette:
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 small shallot, chopped
- 1/2 cup olive oil plus more for brushing
- 8 1/3- to 1/2-inch thick slices plain rustique or other flat country bread
- Truffle oil
To make the mushroom topping: melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and thyme. Sauté until browned, about eight minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
To make the thyme vinaigrette: blend the vinegar, thyme, mayonnaise, and shallot in a blender for 10 seconds. With the machine running, gradually add 1/2 cup olive oil; blend until almost smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
Preheat oven to 400ºF. Arrange the bread on a rimmed baking sheet. Brush with oil. Bake until beginning to crisp, about eight minutes.
Mound 1/4 cup mushroom mixture on each bread slice. Drizzle each with thyme vinaigrette, then sparingly with truffle oil.