I'm trying hard to do a few things different to capitalize on this summer. First, eat as many meals I can outdoors. After a long winter, I crave sunny days outside eating on a patio. My recent attitude is that if it is even the slightest bit of a nice day- the table and chairs get shoved outside and so does mealtime.
The second thing that I am trying to do is put less meat on our weekly rotation. No huge reasons for that other than looking for light options that bring a bit of variance to what we eat while keeping grocery bills down.
Summer seems like a great time to bring in other forms of non-meat substance into mealtime. I've been tossing chickpeas into salads, slathering nut butters on pretty much every breakfast item I can think of and now have begun to foray into mushrooms. They're so affordable, so healthy (1 of your 5 a day!), versatile enough to be added to a slew of recipes that I already make... and they soak up flavor like a boss. :)
For a little afternoon tea out in the park with my friend, Camille, I made a really delicious mushroom bruschetta in lieu of the standard soggy sandwich selections. The combination of flavors was totally kicking- think garlic, lemon and lots of fresh parsley. Perfect for summer. (I got the idea from this site, Just Add Mushrooms, which, as the name implies, is a pretty great starting point for mushroom-centric recipes.)
And the verdict? Well, we ate every last bit of them in an embarassing amount of time.... so I guess that means we liked them. The contrast of the crunchy sourdough with the sautéed mushrooms on top was just lovely, and it's going to be something that I recreate throughout the summer as it was so affordable and so cheap. And in the spirit of summer outdoor dining, I'm sharing the recipe below. Enjoy!
GARLICKY MUSHROOM BRUSCHETTA
SERVES 4 | Prep & Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Brown & white button mushrooms (200gm packets of each)
A small handful of flat-leaf parsley (fresh or frozen)
Minced garlic (3 cloves or 1 tablespoon of jarred garlic)
1 loaf of fresh sourdough bread, sliced
Salt & pepper
Chop your mushrooms up. This doesn't need to be exact, but I'd recommend smaller pieces if you're cooking with children in mind.
Put some olive oil in your pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and mushrooms. Sautee for about 5 minutes until the mushrooms are soft and have browned.
While your mushrooms are cooking, toss your bread into the oven for a couple of minutes. Don't leave them too long, because you won't want them too crunchy. Just a nice, golden toast for added contrast in texture.
Squeeze half of your lemon over the mushrooms. Add the parlsey in. Sprinkle with salt & pepper.
With the remaining half of your lemon, slice a few pieces and lay them over the mixture while it rest. This will just give them an extra little kick of flavor.
And after that? Well you're done. You can either pack these up and take them out for a picnic or pile the mushrooms on your hot toast and eat them right away. You really can't go wrong.
Thanks for everyone's suggestions on Instagram for good (and mayo-less) picnic recipes. The next item that is on my mind is roasted veggies tossed with quinoa, olive oil & lemon- what a great idea! What's your go-to picnic item?
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*images original to Aspiring Kennedy
*this post was sponsored by Just Add Mushrooms. opinions, photography and recipe are my own.