Make your next gathering special with this vegan mushroom duxelles crostini appetizer. A slow and low cook on the stovetop, plus some crispy oven-toasted crostini makes for a delicious, satisfying, and umami-rich vegan appetizer. The slow cooking of finely diced mushrooms and shallots ensures a lush, paté-like texture in about 20 minutes. It’s a simple and robustly flavoured appetizer with about 10 core ingredients. This recipe can be prepped up to 5 days in advance and kept in a sealed container in the fridge. Duxelles forms the base of my creamy vegan pasta as well! Photo guidance for the different stages of the duxelles is provided in this post.
I love a simple appetizer that’s make-ahead friendly. While this vegan mushroom duxelles isn’t 100% traditional, it does follow the typical preparation steps. The deeply savoury flavour and silky texture are sublime on a golden-crisp crostini that’s been rubbed with garlic. I take mine up a notch and add thin little wedges of soft vegan cheese on top. This extra bit is optional, but so good. I used this vegan smoky gouda.
The inspiration for this recipe:
- Mushroom duxelles is used as a stuffing, base of a sauce, or as a garnish in French cuisine. It is named after the marquis d’Uxelles.
- At its traditional core, the dish is a mixture of finely minced mushrooms and shallots sautéed in butter with herbs. The mushrooms are cooked until they have sufficiently dried out.
- Mushroom duxelles is most commonly associated with beef wellington, which is a dish of beef tenderloin wrapped in puff pastry that is lined/stuffed with the duxelles.
- This vegan mushroom duxelles is cooked in olive oil. I also finish this recipe with balsamic vinegar for a little acid lift and a touch of Tamari for umami. These components are not traditional, but I think that they work well in this crostini application.
I like to “chop” the mushrooms up in the food processor to make this recipe go a bit faster. You can do it with a chef’s knife on the cutting board though!
One of the key things with making this duxelles is cooking it slowly over medium-low heat to gradually draw out the moisture of the mushrooms. This makes for a perfectly tender and rich final texture. We also wait for all of the water to cook out before seasoning with salt. I find that adding salt too early forces more moisture out and makes the cooking process longer.
I really hope that you give this one a try the next time you need a vegan appetizer! We also may be incorporating the technique into a delicious pasta recipe in the future, so stay tuned for that one ;)
Vegan Mushroom Duxelles Crostini Appetizer
- ½ baguette, sliced thin
- olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and halved
Vegan Mushroom Duxelles
- 1 lb (454 grams) mushrooms, tough stems removed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium shallot, fine dice (about ½ cup diced shallot)
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, minced
- sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- ½ teaspoon Tamari
- soft vegan cheese of choice
- chopped/whole leaf herbs
- Any type of mushrooms that you like are great! I went with cremini because I enjoy the flavour, they’re affordable, and they seem to be widely available. If you opt for portobello mushrooms, I would scrape out the gills before chopping.
- This recipe is not traditional. Typically mushroom duxelles is cooked in butter and is sometimes finished with sherry. The recipe that I’m sharing here keeps the basic essence and structure of duxelles, but I cook it in olive oil to keep things plant-based. I also finish with balsamic vinegar for some acid lift and a small amount of Tamari for extra umami.
- I topped my crostini with Nuts For Cheese’s Smoky Gouda and it was delightful.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the sliced baguette on the baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Toss the pieces of bread with your hands to make sure they have a decently even coating of olive oil. Pop in the oven for about 18-20 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Rub the halved garlic cloves into the warm toasted crostini. Set aside.
- Start the duxelles. Finely chop the mushrooms with a food processor in 2 batches. You want the pieces to be the size of small peas. You can also do this by hand with a chef’s knife if you like.
- Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Once hot, pour in the olive oil and swirl it around. Add the shallots and thyme, and sauté until soft and translucent, about 4-5 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms all at once and season with pepper. Cook the mushrooms on medium high, stirring often, until they start to release liquid. Then, lower the heat to medium low. Continue to cook and stir often until the mushrooms dry out a bit, darken, and become paste-like, about 18-20 minutes.
- Once the duxelles is dry, add the balsamic vinegar and Tamari. Cook until the liquid evaporates and then season with salt.
- Serve the vegan mushroom duxelles warm or at room temperature on top of crostini with soft vegan cheese and herbs if you like. Duxelles can be made up to 5 days in advance and kept in the fridge in a sealed container.