Mushroom & Gruyere Bruschetta is the kind of quick and easy appetizer you can throw together on the spur of the moment. This toasted cheese bread with savory grilled mushrooms is a combination no one can resist!
Light dinner or substantial appetizer, it’s up to you.
More often than not, they’re one and the same to us. This one couldn’t be simpler, and I’ve got a bonus tip for cooking those mushrooms — you won’t believe the flavor you will get from them when you cook them this way.
This mushroom bruschetta recipe is based on classic Mediterranean elements
- a crusty loaf of ciabatta bread
- mushrooms, wild or cultivate (I used cremini mushrooms, which are young portobellos, and small white buttons.)
- nutty Gruyere
- fresh thyme
- dry sherry
- and a touch of garlic.
You can use any kind of mushrooms and any other type of cheese you love. There are lots of great cheeses that would be delicious here, but Gruyere and mushrooms have a special affinity for each other.
How to dry sauté mushrooms for the best flavor!
Here’s my mushroom cooking trick— I like to dry saute the mushrooms, without any oil or butter. They hit the hot pan and immediately begin to release some of their moisture. They darken and their flavor intensifies.
They don’t get that spongy quality that mushrooms have when they absorb oil, so their texture is better, too. Just be sure to stir them often to keep them from sticking to the pan. As an added benefit you don’t get the extra calories. Save them for the cheese.
Slice a loaf of ciabatta bread in half lengthwise. You can make one large piece or divide it into individual pieces. Grill the bread on a hot grill pan and then rub a fresh piece of garlic across the top. The rough bread will scrape off just enough garlic to infuse it with flavor.
My secret weapon is a slosh of dry Sherry just as the mushrooms have finished browning.
It will immediately bubble up and the alcohol will evaporate leaving wonderful flavor. It’s delicious with the thyme and Gruyere!
Bruschetta, crostini, and toasts are a favorite of ours here at tvfgi, and I’ve got some other tasty ideas for you to explore once you’ve polished off your mushroom and Gruyere bruschetta ~
Mushroom & Gruyere Bruschetta
- 1 lb loaf ciabatta bread
- 1 clove garlic peeled and halved lengthwise
- 1 lb assorted mushrooms, I used cremini and white button
- 1 1/4 cup Gruyere cheese, grated
- dry Sherry or Marsala
- sea salt
- fresh cracked black pepper
- fresh thyme leaves, about 2 Tbsp, plus more for garnish
- extra virgin olive oil for brushing (optional)
- fresh thyme leaves
- Cut the bread in half lengthwise, so you have a large cut surface. Cut each half in half again, so you have 4 flat pieces of bread. Preheat a grill pan over high heat until very hot. Grill the bread, cut side down, on the hot grill until it starts to get nice char marks. It helps to press down on the bread as it grills to make good contact with the pan. Rub the cut side of the garlic across the whole surface of the bread while it is still hot. Set aside.
- Dust off the mushrooms with a clean dish cloth. Trim off the tips of the stems, and then slice them.
- Heat a cast iron or saute pan on medium high, and add the mushrooms to the dry pan. Sauté the mushrooms, shaking the pan or tossing them as they start ti give up their moisture and brown. This will take about 5 minutes, and I do it in batches so I don't crowd the pan. If you crowd the pan the mushrooms will steam and not brown.
- As each batch of mushrooms finishes browning, add a tablespoon of sherry and let it sizzle for just a few seconds to evaporate. Stir to deglaze the pan and get up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Season with a pinch of salt, and add the thyme leaves.
- Optional step: brush the cut sides of the bread with good extra virgin olive oil before topping. This adds calories, but tastes so good.
- Spoon the mushrooms and any juice onto the bread. Top with the cheese, some black pepper, and a little more fresh thyme. Broil until the cheese is melted. Watch closely, this will only take a couple of minutes. Don't set the oven rack too close to the flame.
- Scatter with more fresh thyme and slice the bread into individual portions. Enjoy right away. If you want to reheat leftovers, cover them loosely in foil and heat in a 325F oven until warm.