Shiitake Crostini with Garlicky White Bean Spread

July 27, 2020

Browning mushrooms is an art. We’ve been told not to overcrowd the pan with them (as it encourages steaming instead of browning) and not to salt them too soon (as it draws out moisture) in order to avoid barriers to achieving those crisp, rich brown bits. But I chase these brown bits for the same reason that chefs deglaze their pans to incorporate those dark stuck-on-there pieces into sauces and glazes: it makes a difference. Serving these shrooms over a creamy, garlicky white bean spread and crusty, crunchy bread gives this simple dish an unbeatable contrast of texture, proving just how delicious simple can be. 


½ lb. Local Roots shiitake mushrooms

2 slices of Local Roots sourdough bread

4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 cup of Local Roots cannellini beanscooked 

2 cloves of garlic, peeled

1 Tbsp. thyme

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Blend 1 cup of white beans with 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, 2 Tbsp. water, 2 cloves of garlic, ½ tsp. salt, and ½ tsp. pepper until smooth and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Brush the bread with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Once up to temperature, insert the bread for about 10 minutes until some color has begun to develop.
  5. Meanwhile, heat a medium-sized pan over medium-high heat with 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil.
  6. Tear mushrooms into small pieces (thirds or quarters) to maximize texture.
  7. Once oil is shimmering, add mushrooms to the pan and let cook for about 2 minutes undisturbed until mushrooms have developed a brown, golden crust.
  8. Stir and cook for an additional 3 minutes until cooked through.
  9. Salt mushrooms to taste once removed from the heat and set aside.
  10. To assemble, spoon white bean spread onto the toasted bread and, using the back of the spoon, spread to the edges of the crostini.
  11. Top with sautéed mushrooms and a sprinkle of thyme.

Recipe by Local Roots Volunteer Jess Santoro (@jess_santoro)

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