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Mushroom Toast

Two years ago I ordered avocado toast for the first time at Le Pain Quotidien in LA. Admittedly, I did not pay attention to the price when I ordered and I enjoyed it thoroughly. But when the bill came and I realized I had paid a whopping $11.95 for the privilege of a piece of bread shmeared with avocado and salt, I absolutely choked. And yet, I was hooked. As soon as I got home, I looked up the recipe for LPQ's citrus cumin salt (lemon zest, salt and, you got it, cumin) made a big batch and proceeded to make avocado toast every other day for a month.

After a month, even glorious avocado toast gets tired. However, the toast craze was just beginning for me. I've since topped a slice of crusty sourdough with all manner of veg, from oven roasted tomatoes to sautéed kale to mushrooms. Combine with a salad or a cup of soup and you have a meal.

The basic formula is a good piece of crusty bread (toasted), a layer of soft spreadable cheese, vegetables, chopped herbs, a sprinkle of salt, and sometimes a little lemon zest. This week I had a pile of mushrooms to get through, and not surprisingly, they landed on toast. What makes this recipe extra special is the homemade whipped feta. Tangy, crusty, earthy, yum.

Mushroom Toast - one

1 slice of crusty bread - sourdough, country boule, or rye

olive oil

handful of mushrooms, sliced

juice from 1/2 lemon

a thick shmear of whipped feta

a few leaves of basil - slivered

lemon zest

salt and pepper

Whipped Feta - makes 1/2 cup, enough for several servings

2 oz good feta

6 oz ricotta

3 tbsp olive oil

juice from 1/2 lemon/1 tbsp fresh lemon

1. Make the whipped feta. Put feta and ricotta in the bowl of a small food processor or blender and pulse until cheeses are blended. Add 3 tbsp of olive oil and lemon juice and process until whipped.

2. Heat sauté pan over medium heat and add olive oil. When it shimmers add mushrooms and a big pinch of salt. Sauté for approximately 3 minutes turning once. Add lemon juice. Once mushrooms have absorbed the lemon juice take pan off the heat. Toast bread.

3. Spread the toast with whipped feta, top with mushrooms, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, then basil, then lemon zest. Serve immediately.

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