Guest Post: Baked Feta with Spicy Thyme Mushrooms by The Gouda Life
We have a Guest in the kitchen today! Kelly of The Gouda Life is back sharing another fabulous mushroom recipe. If this recipe doesn’t get you excited for the holidays, I don’t know what will!!
Though it shocks me to say, it’s almost time to start thinking of the Holidays (doesn’t it feel like just last week we were celebrating the start of the summer growing season?). We don’t typically host family at our place but we do spend quite a bit of time bouncing from celebration to celebration and like to be prepared with a dish or two to offer up, if needed. Understandably, bringing a dish for a celebration can be stressful but having a handful of simple, sure-to-please appetizers and side dishes on hand around this time of year is worth its weight in gold.
This appetizer is just that; Impossible to keep your fork out of and a breeze to whip together on a whim. You couldn’t ask for much more than that…except maybe a glass of champagne to seal the deal. The real kicker of this recipe is the balance between the salty feta and the luscious, earthy mushrooms. The two were destined for each other like mozzarella to tomato, Parmesan to pears. Though the feta doesn’t melt, it softens and becomes warm and tangled in the mushrooms, just begging to be slathered on a warm baguette or crackers. This would be highly appropriate for a casual dinner or gathering, great for a new year’s eve party snack or, as I enjoy it most, eaten in solitude with a glass of wine and a good movie.
Baked Feta with Spicy Thyme Mushrooms
serves 4-6 as an appetizer
1 1/2 cups spicy mushrooms, recipe to follow
1 8-10oz block of feta
2 tbsp scallions or chives, sliced thin or minced
2 tsp high olive oil
fresh ground pepper
1 tbsp fresh parsley, minced
bread, crackers, chips, sliced cucumbers etc, for serving
Preheat the oven to 375.
Place the feta, sliced into two pieces lengthwise, into a baking dish or oven-safe skillet. Top the feta with the thyme mushrooms, drizzle with the olive oil and bake for 20 minutes or until everything is warmed through and feta is softened slightly. Garnish with parsley and fresh ground pepper. Serve right from the pan with thinly sliced toasted baguette, crackers or slices of cucumber.
Spicy Thyme Mushrooms
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 lb crimini mushrooms, sliced thin (cleaned* + stems removed)
2 cloves garlic, sliced thin
1/4 – 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp fresh thyme
2 tbsp brandy, optional
zest from 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp fresh parsley, minced
generous pinch seal salt
few pinches of fresh ground pepper
Preheat oven to 400.
Place butter and olive oil in a large skillet over med-high heat. When hot, add the sliced mushrooms and let them sit without stirring for 5-8 minutes [note: do not salt them until they are crisped up]. They’ll release their moisture and might look watery, but it will evaporate. They should be beautifully golden on the one side by after 5-8 minutes. Let them sit a little longer if not. Stir them around and let sit for another few minutes. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes and thyme leaves and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the brandy, if using, and cook until fully reduced, 1 minute. Remove from heat, add the lemon zest + juice and parsley. Add ground pepper. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if needed.
*Clean mushrooms by dampening a clean towel or paper towel and gently wiping the caps of the mushroom. Don’t submerge or rinse them in a colander as the water will mess with the texture.
This is an absolutely beautiful festive appetizer! It has me so looking forward to holiday entertaining. Thanks so much to Kelly of The Gouda Life for sharing this wonderful recipe with us.