Balsamic Pickled Shiitake Crostini

These shiitake crostini have been pickled in balsamic rice vinegar and paired with a creamy basil pesto ricotta spread for the perfect toasty bite.

I’ve never understood the mushroom haters. There are definitely things out there weird enough that even my adventurous palate isn’t willing to try or like (um, the ant larvae served with smoked avocado tartare at the Cancun wine and food festival last week would be one of those things) but mushrooms don’t even come close to falling in that category.

This balsamic pickled shiitake crostini recipe was created in connection with my appointment as a contributor to the Nakano Natural and Seasoned Rice Vinegar.
These shiitake crostini have been pickled in balsamic vinegar and paired with a creamy basil pesto ricotta spread for the perfect toasty bite.

And yet, I feel like the general population is split in half with lovers of all things fungi (me) and extreme haters just like the ever divisive cilantro.

I hope you’re a lover.

Because these balsamic pickled shiitake mushrooms are baller and worth every penny of their slightly ridiculous price tag ($10.99 a pound, really?!).

Balsamic Pickled Shiitake Mushrooms are a tangy bite perfect on top of some toasted bread.

I was trying to explain the term umami to Ulysses the other day (the fact that he didn’t even know of the word was slightly concerning to his food blogging wife) and found it nearly impossible to put into words. The one thing that kept popping into my head was ‘mushrooms!’

I don’t even know if that’s an accurate definition but, to me, they epitomize that savory-ness that umami tries to corral in food. When you pickle them in balsamic vinegar, soy sauce and shallots, the whole umami factor just gets explodes exponentially.

Balsamic Pickled Shiitake mushrooms are paired with a basil ricotta pesto spread for the perfect crostini bite.

Nakano’s balsamic blend seasoned rice vinegar brings the perfect tang while the soy sauce highlights a little bit of saltiness in the mushrooms.

To offset that deep savory flavor, they’re placed on top of a refreshing basil pesto ricotta spread that will remind you summer is just around the corner (if this miserable NY weather ever lets up).

Balsamic Pickled Shiitake Crostini are a delicious savory small bite.

We’ve never done the brunch thing for mom on Mother’s Day so if you’re anything like my family, throw these shiitake crostini on the menu instead.

Guarantee it’ll beat French toast any day.

Check out more Nakano recipes like these spicy pickled pineapple and this cilantro mango wild rice salad.

Yield: 10-12 servings

Balsamic Pickled Shiitake Crostini

These shiitake crostini have been pickled in balsamic vinegar and paired with a creamy basil pesto ricotta spread for the perfect toasty bite.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

For the pickled mushrooms

  • 10 ounces sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • 2/3 cup Nakano balsamic blend seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 shallot, minced

For the basil pesto ricotta spread

  • 1/3 cup packed basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup ricotta

To assemble

  • Sliced and toasted French or Italian bread
  • microgreens for garnish

Instructions

  1. Make the pickled mushrooms by combining all the ingredients in a medium sauce pot. Bring to a simmer, turn off heat and let cool. Transfer to a jar and keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.
  2. Make the basil pesto ricotta spread by combining the basil, parmesan, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor. Process until finely chopped. Add the ricotta and process again until incorporated.
  3. To assemble, spread the basil pesto ricotta on a slice of toasted bread. Top with a spoonful of the mushrooms and garnish with some microgreens. Serve immediately.
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11 Comments

  1. Catherine

    Dear Gina, Your crostini are beautiful. All the flavors in this dish are outstanding…I could easily enjoy this as a light summer meal. xo, Catherine

    Reply
  2. Danae @ Recipe Runner

    I’ve never had pickled mushrooms before, but they sound incredible! I don’t understand mushroom haters either, ant larvae yes (what the hell), mushrooms no. They sound perfect on top of this basil pesto ricotta crostini!

    Reply
  3. Melissa | Bits of Umami

    I need these mushrooms in my life! Literally laughed out loud of your explanation of your dilemma with trying to explain “umami” to your husband. Happens to me ALL the time – which is bad since my blog has the word in it. It’s like what do you mean you don’t know!?!? It’s basically – uh uh uhm well MUSHROOMS. Haha. This recipe would be such a perfect thing to bring to my Mother’s Day lunch!

    Reply
  4. Nutmeg Nanny

    I’m a total mushroom LOVER! Give me all the fungi :) I love the look of this crostini and I love that it’s such a fun way to use shiitake mushrooms.

    Reply
  5. Claudia | The Brick Kitchen

    Definitely a fungi lover over here!! And apparently unami is actually a fifth taste sense – so on top of sweet, salty, bitter and sour. It deserves its own spot haha! Gorgeous crostini too – I love the sound of the basil ricotta pesto especially <3

    Reply

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