This vegetarian mushroom sandwich is one of my favorite, indulgent recipes. Creamy, melty and fragrant with flavors of parsley, garlic and wild mushrooms, it doesn't get any tastier than this!
This can easily be a vegetarian main course or leave it open faced and cut it smaller for an appetizer course. This easy and impressive mushroom sandwich melt makes a wonderful addition to a fall or winter solstice dinner, Thanksgiving celebration or Christmas dinner. (My other wild mushroom recipes include, Chanterelle Risotto, Cauliflower Mushroom Gratin, Wild Mushroom and Lentil Stew, and Wild Mushroom Soup and I love to top salads with browned mushrooms too!)
Earthy chanterelles make this mushroom melt-style sandwich a fun and tasty fall treat. You can (and should) make this with store bought white mushrooms when wild mushrooms aren't available but there is nothing quite like seasonal wild mushrooms.
You all know by now that I love wild mushrooms and have quite a few mushroom recipes on here already. Today's recipe, Chanterelle Mushroom Croustade, is one I've made quite a few times over the last few years but for some reason, it never lasted long enough to photograph!
Picking Wild Mushrooms
I love to forage for mushrooms as well as other wild edibles. I carry bear spray and my mushroom knife revel in the quiet and solitude. Sometimes I enjoy the complete quiet and tranquility of the forest, breathing in the moist, vegetal air. Other times I need to drown out traffic noises (or my internal voice) and I throw on a podcast as I walk. Soft moss dampens footsteps adding to the peaceful feeling. An hour or so later, I feel lighter, happier and more centered.
I can get obsessive about mushroom picking. I often go out with the intention of just getting enough for dinner and end up with hours worth of mushroom cleaning and processing. No complaints here though, I love being able to have wild mushrooms all winter and know my future self will thank me.
My Favorite Wild Mushroom Book
There are many good mushroom identifying books out there, I particularly like the one called, "All that the rain promises and more" by David Arora. It is extremely informative, has good pictures and is quirky and fun.
How To Preserve Wild Mushrooms
Preserving mushrooms can be done a few ways and the best way depends on the type of wild mushrooms you have. Chanterelles lose a lot of flavour and texture by drying. I believe the best way to store these for winter is by cooking and freezing.
To freeze them, first sauté them with a touch of olive oil or butter and a pinch of salt until all the liquid is evaporated/reabsorbed and they are lightly browned. Cool and pack into your favorite freezer bags or containers. Pack the mushrooms in firmly but gently to eliminate as much air as possible and top with a bit more melted butter or olive oil before sealing and freezing. These will last up to a year if packed well.
If you are lucky enough to get morels (likely in the spring as opposed to chanterelles which are prolific in the fall) these work well dried. Simply clean and dehydrate in a dehydrator or on the coolest setting in your oven, turning occasionally.
Rehydrate the mushrooms by soaking them in warm water for 30-60 minutes. Once dried mushrooms are reconstituted with water, they can be drained and fried or otherwise cooked as you would with fresh morel mushrooms. Lobster mushrooms also dry well.
How To Use Frozen Mushrooms
When thawing your mushrooms, they just need a quick warm up in a pan for use as a side dish or put them straight into your soup, stew or risotto. These mushrooms retain excellent texture and flavour. Other firm wild mushrooms also store well this way such as lobster, oyster, and hedgehog mushrooms.
This sandwich has it all-browned wild mushrooms with a meaty texture, herb and garlic infused bread crumb flavouring, cheesy melty goodness and a crispy French bread exterior. Soul food in my world 🙂 Another cool melty mushroom recipe is this Mushroom Croquettes, a Spanish tapas style recipe.
Let me know below what your favourite wild mushroom recipe is.
Chanterelle Mushroom Croustade (Melty Sandwich)
- 1 Loaf French Bread, sliced in half lengthwise
- 1 Clove Garlic
- 4 tablespoon Fresh Parsley, packed
- 1 teaspoon Fresh Thyme Use ½ teaspoon if using dried
- 2 tablespoon Butter
- 1 ½ lb Chanterelle (or other) Mushrooms, cleaned and coarsely chopped All mushrooms work well in this recipe-try a mixture!
- Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to taste
- ⅔ c Heavy Cream
- ⅓ c Milk (Skim, 1% or 2%)
- 2 c Grated Havarti Cheese (Gruyere and Mozzarella work well too) (250 grams or 8 oz of cheese)
- Preheat oven to 450'F. Heat butter in large frying pan on medium. Add mushrooms and saute, stirring occasionally until liquid is gone and mushrooms are lightly browned.
- Meanwhile, hollow out your loaf of bread, leaving the outer crust as a shell. Place inner bread chunks into a food processor with garlic, parsley and thyme. Pulse until all ingredients are in fine crumbs.
- Once mushrooms are browned, add crumb mixture and saute 2 minutes until fragrant, then add milk and cream. Turn heat to medium low, stir gently and cook until thickened but still creamy. Season to taste with salt and pepper at this point.
- Fill bread shells equally with mushroom mixture and sprinkle cheese evenly over top of both bread halves. Bake until cheese is bubbly and starting to brown.
- Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes before slicing. At this point you can put the top on the bottom half for a covered sandwich or leave it open face. Slice on the diagonal in 1"-2" wide to your preference.