Mushroom and tarragon toast

Mushroom and tarragon toasts.
Mushroom and tarragon toasts. Photo: William Meppem

A grating of dried shiitake mushrooms at the end gives this simple starter a big hit of umami without breaking the budget on porcini.


2 tbsp olive oil, plus 1 tbsp for the toast

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

5 cups sliced brown mushrooms (or a mix of mushrooms)

2 sprigs tarragon, woody stalks discarded

¼ tsp salt

freshly ground black pepper

100ml cream

4 thick slices of sourdough bread

2 dried shiitake mushroom caps


Heat a heavy frying pan over medium heat and add 2 tbsp of olive oil and the garlic. Fry the garlic for about 30 seconds until fragrant, then add the mushrooms, tarragon, salt and pepper. Fry for about 6 minutes, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms are softened and golden. Add the cream and stir through the mushrooms, simmering for a minute or two until thick and creamy.

Heat a grill pan over a high heat. Brush the sourdough slices with the extra olive oil and grill on each side until well toasted. Top each piece of toast with a generous amount of mushrooms and, using a rasp grater, grate over the dried mushroom caps. Finish with a grind of black pepper and serve.