this is a quick but decadent open-faced sandwich that i used to make a lot when i was living alone, on nights when i had gotten home late from work or yoga. it’s my version of those weird things you throw together when you’re alone, too weird to make or eat with someone else. it combined two things i loved: fried toast slices (my mom used to pan-fry toasts and roll them up to be dipped in curry–something i’ll write about at a later date) because they become so rich and juicy from the butter. and i’ve loved ricotta on toast ever since trying a great recipe in wish magazine where ricotta toasts were topped with pistachios and honey.
the mushrooms were perhaps the least odd component, added as a way to make it this dinner savoury and more substantial. together it all really works. so much so that i took it out of the shadows of things i eat alone and am sharing it with you, on this, the start of “sandwich week” here at le sauce. more of my favourites to come, all as rich and decadent as this one. not a week to look to my blog for light fare, but you won’t care. not one delicious, crispy iota.
sweet and savoury mushroom ricotta toasts
starting with toast means spending less time standing in front of the stove waiting for the bread to fry. and frying the toasted bread gives you a slightly richer, tastier result than just using toast. but if you can alternatively just use buttered toast without frying the slices.
4 slices of bread, toasted (nothing too small or too dense)
1 1/2 tbp butter, room temperature
1 tbp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lb crimini (or chestnut) mushrooms (2 big handfuls), sliced thinly
1/2 small onion, sliced thinly
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
1 tsp dried thyme
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/2 cup ricotta cheese, room temperature
if frying toasts, lightly but evenly butter both sides of each slice of toast. heat a pan over medium-high heat and fry buttered toast slightly until golden. remove from pan and set aside.
reduce heat to medium and add olive oil and remaining butter to the pan. add onions and garlic and saute, stirring, until the onions begin to turn translucent. add mushrooms and mix well. add thyme, salt and pepper, and stir through. saute, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are golden and any liquid from them has completely evaporated.
spoon mixture on to toasts and dollop each with a tbsp of ricotta. drizzle with balsamic vinegar and serve immediately.