Your new favorite vegetarian appetizer that you can cook entirely on the grill. Grilled Mushroom Crostini with Smoked Honey and Aged Balsamic.
Event season has kicked off for us with our sister catering company, Ember and Vine. We recently cooked at two back to back events — the first ever winemaker dinner at Bells Up Winery, and Pour Oregon, a celebration of boutique Oregon wine producers. The later event had 450 attendees! Cray cray!
While we always provide a wide array of tasty meats, whenever we cater any event we also offer a variety of alternative options for dietary restrictions or preferences. And being the veggie lover around here we’re always looking for delicious ways to offer grilled and smoked vegetarian offerings. Gimme alllll the veggies!
What we have here is mushrooms that were grilled on a pan, on the grill, then chopped to make a topping for grilled baguette slices that has been spread with goat cheese. And then for good measure we topped it with a fine drizzle of smoked honey and aged balsamic.
Smoked what, Mary?
Smoked honey, my friend!
Just take some honey (about 1/2 to 1 cup will do) and cook it in your smoker at 160 – 180 degrees temp for 3 hours. This will infuse the honey with great sweet smoke flavor, and also concentrate and thicken the honey a bit.
If you don’t have the ability or time to smoke your honey I forgive you. It’s totally okay to use regular honey on this too. But if you’ve got the time to make smoked honey, doooo it!
How to cook mushrooms on the grill:
Because we’re using a couple types of mushrooms here, and they’re pretty small, we’re cooking them on a cast iron pan on the grill. This makes it easier keep everything together without falling through the grill grates.
You can certainly cook this over the stovetop, but when we’re on the road at an event we don’t have a stovetop to use. Plus this is just a great idea for any outdoor cooking plans you may have (or picnic, or camping, or just to impress your friends at your next backyard cookout).
Just preheat your grill to a nice high heat. Place the butter, onions, and mushrooms in that cast iron pan and place directly on the grill until the shrooms and onions have softened.
How to cook crostini on the grill:
Once your mushrooms are softened you can use that space to toast up your bread. If you have room just put them side by side. But I like to toast the bread just before serving so it’s nice and warm. Oh so comforting that way.
Just drizzle the bread with a kiss of olive oil and place directly on the grill. Don’t walk away or get lost in the abyss of your phone because these bad boys toast up fast. I’m talking less than one minute per side. So babysit them and don’t let them burn, because ain’t nobody got time for burnt toast!
Next just chop up that mushroom mix
Don’t go too fine. Just a rough chop to get those big bites down to a manageable portion.
Assemble your Grilled Mushroom Crostini
All you need to do now is load up the mixture onto your crostini. Start by spreading a layer of goat cheese (or chèvre). This is optional, but the flavor of the goat cheese is incredible with the mushrooms and balsamic (unless you’re weird like the chef we work with and don’t like goat cheese. Yeah I’m talking to you, Adam!).
Next, depending on the size of your slices you could go 1-2 tablespoons of the filling. Then drizzle with aged balsamic, and that incredible smoked honey sent from the gods.
- 1 baguette, sliced at a bias or angle
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, (for the baguette slices)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ¼ cup red onion, diced
- ½ pound Crimini mushrooms, gently cleaned, stems removed
- ½ pound Shitake mushrooms, gently cleaned
- 8 ounces chèvre (goat’s cheese)
- 12 year aged balsamic, or any will do (for drizzle)
- local honey, for drizzle (approximately ¼ cup)
- 2 tablespoons maldon/finishing salt
Prepare grill for direct heat using lump charcoal. Add wood chunks for flavor.
Prepare crostini, brushing with olive oil and place on grill grates over direct heat, for approximately 1-2 minutes per side to toast up (watching closely).
Place a cast iron skillet over direct heat and add butter, red onion, and whole mushrooms, stir and then cover grill top.
Remove grill cover and stir every few minutes or until the mushrooms look tender. Take care to watch onions so they don’t burn. Remove from heat when mushrooms are tender (approximately 6-8 minutes) and then lightly salt with a pinch.
Remove from heat, place mixture on a cutting board, and chop up the mixture (like in photo above).
Coat the crostini slices with a small amount of chevre, and then place a generous portion of the mushroom filling on top.
Drizzle lightly with the balsamic vinegar and honey and then a small amount of finishing salt.
We made this recipe initially to go with an Oregon wine event that we knew would be heavy on the Pinot Noir. These are absolutely fantastic with Pinot Noir, by the way! But they’re also great with a wide variety of medium bodied red wines, especially those on the earthy side. What would you pair?
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