Gouda and Roasted Wild Mushrooms

I a big snacker.  Everywhere I go, I have a bag of nuts, fruit, or a homemade energy bar just in case. I get teased a lot, until everyone is hungry and I’m the only one with the food!  A year ago I was really into having muffins in the afternoon, then it changed to smoothies (which I currently eat almost every day for breakfast/after a workout), and now I have been craving simple and whole fruit/vegetable snacks. Weird?  Maybe.  But one bite of this gouda and roasted wild mushroom dish and I bet you will be singing another tune.

It’s rich, creamy, nutty, earthy, and oh so satisfying.  The secret is the mix of shiitake and crimini mushrooms, roasted to perfection with extra virgin olive oil, garlic, and lemon zest.  There is nothing fancy or time consuming about this snack.  It’s as simple and straightforward as it looks, but it packs an amazing flavor.  While I like gouda because of it’s soft and extra creamy texture, I have topped raw cheddar, gruyere, and jarlsberg cheese with the roasted mushrooms and they are all excellent.

Enjoy this pairing as a snack or put it out as an appetizer when company comes over. Roasted wild mushrooms would make a great addition to a cheese plate, as well as orange slices.  Oranges are in season, and offer a sweet, tart burst along with the rich, melty cheese.  It took awhile to force myself to switch from my beloved apples (that are defiantly no longer in season) to oranges, but I’m glad I have.

Be bold, and instead of reaching for that sugary cookie or muffin, grab a handful of roasted mushrooms, your favorite cheese, and an orange.  Change up your snack routine in delicious fashion!

Gouda and Roasted Wild Mushrooms

makes 4-6 servings

6 oz gouda cheese, sliced thin (or cheese of choice)

1 recipe roasted wild mushrooms (recipe follows)

2-3 oranges, peeled

Directions:
Arrange the cheese slices on a plate.  Top each piece with roasted mushrooms (heat the mushrooms up first if you didn’t just make them).  Place the orange slices around the outside of the cheese slices. Stick toothpicks in some of the cheese if serving as an appetizer, otherwise dig in!

Roasted Wild Mushrooms

1 lb shiitake mushrooms
1 lb crimini or baby bella mushrooms
2-3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp lemon zest
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 375.  Line a rimmed baking pan with tin foil, then parchment paper (makes for easy clean up!).
2.  Remove the stems from the mushrooms and wash them.  Gently pat them dry.  I also like to remove the gills of the crimini mushrooms with a small spoon (the underside of the mushroom caps), however that is not necessary.
3.  Slice the mushrooms thin and add them to the prepared pan.  Sprinkle with the minced garlic, lemon zest, salt, and pepper.  Drizzle the oil over the top and gently toss with your hands until everything is evenly coated.
4.  Bake for 35-50 minutes, stirring every 5-10 minutes, until the mushrooms are dry and golden brown.

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