I recently went through a frenzy of flipping through my cookbook collection, dog-earing pages and highlighting ingredients. Any recipe that sounded doable was meticulously listed onto my phone so that I wouldn't forget. The problem with anything in book form is that I do forget and end up Googling for recipes instead. I'm trying to make my cookbook purchases financially justifiable. I need to use them more. To be completely honest with you, as nice as it is to have a hoard of cookbooks to decorate your kitchen/bookshelf/coffee table with, they are a pain to look through. The internet is much more practical, but I'm going to put in the effort and get my money's worth from these old purchases.
Bill Granger provided the first viable option. I found a recipe for an open sandwich with mushrooms, hazelnuts and goat's cheese in his book 'Feed me now!' When it comes to sandwiches, I don't think they can be correctly termed 'recipes' but rather ideas of what to put on bread. I hadn't thought of this idea before but it sounded great to me. I once asked Marc "if you had to guess what supermarket items I can't live without, what would you say?" I actually asked the question on this blog first and then randomly decided to ask him. His first guess was goat's cheese, which is correctly on my list. That should tell you how dependant I am on goat's cheese. If goat's cheese was a banned substance with life-destroying properties, I'd be in rehab for it.
Bill's recipe serves 4. I was just one person making lunch for myself so I didn't go along with the quantities he specified. I fiddled with his recipe by substituting spring onion for red onion and adding some fresh rosemary. I'll put up his original recipe and mention what I did/didn't do as I go along.
Mushroom, Goat's Cheese and Hazelnut Open Sandwich
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 400g mixed mushrooms, halved (I used Swiss brown)
- 2 spring onions, finely chopped (I used 1/2 finely chopped red onion but you'd need 1 full red onion to serve 4)
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary (this was my own addition so it's optional; 1 sprig is to serve 4, I just threw in some leaves for my 1-2 person serve)
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- salt and pepper
- 4 slices good quality bread (I used organic oat rolls, halved)
- 100g mixed baby leaves
- 150g goat's cheese, crumbled
- 50g toasted hazelnuts (he suggests you can use candied walnuts as an alternative), roughly chopped
1. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.
2. Toss the mushrooms in and stir until brown.
5. Toast the bread slices and top with the salad leaves and mushroom mix.
6. Sprinkle on some goat's cheese and chopped nuts to serve.
I normally eat light rye but on this day, I had just been to Wray Organic and had some organic oat buns that I decided to use for this recipe. To think of it, my mushrooms and baby salad leaves were all organic and all picked up from Wray. I recall walking in and feeling embarrased because everything was so expensive and I didn't want to buy anything but I felt obliged to. I had this recipe in mind so I ran with that and managed to purchase the bare minimum.
The buns were tiny and I had trouble balancing the filling and salad. I tried layering the salad under the mushrooms. I tried placing the salad on the side. ANYWAY, that's all unimportant. The take home message from this post is that mushrooms flavored with red wine vinegar go amazingly well with goat's cheese. I am quite proud of my use of red onion and rosemary because I personally think it's a winning combination. I'm not sold on the use of hazelnuts here. I think the open sandwich would have tasted as good without them. I guess it doesn't hurt to try though.
I've looked online and I think Bill has a similar recipe but using the ingredients on a bruschetta instead of on an open sandwich. On paper there's not much difference between one bread type and another but I think the mushroom/goat's cheese mix on really crunchy bruschetta would be amazing. I'll definitely be doing that instead of regular bread next time. On the topic of bread again, not that I have anything against organic but geez, I'm glad I used at least 1 oat bun for this recipe because the rest went moldy by the next day. I guess that's the cost of not having preservatives. You gotta eat quick!