Creamy mushrooms on toast with a spicy twist, this brunch classic is given a major update in this recipe! These harissa mushrooms are like nothing you’ve tasted before – creamy, cheesy and loaded with the smoky, sweet and spicy flavors of harissa paste. You can serve this as a brunch or lunch dish, or on smaller toasts as an appetizer.
Introducing the tastiest creamy mushrooms!
I’m having a really hard time not putting harissa paste in everything. It’s just… really hard to resist. It offers so much!
I love creamy mushrooms on toast as a brunch option, but the addition of harissa is completely transformative. Suddenly it’s got a smoky sweet edge cutting through the creamy richness. Winner! If you don’t have harissa paste, you could even try this with something like chipotle.
This is an easy 20 minute brunch or lunch, or you can use it to top mini crostini or baguette slices for a snack or appetizer. You don’t need to serve it with toast at all – I have some suggestions below for how to use the harissa mushrooms in other ways!
- Mushrooms: I have made this with chestnut mushrooms and with portobellos (chopped up until smaller pieces). I think oyster mushrooms could work well too.
- Garlic and shallot: To give a nice base flavor for the mushrooms.
- Harissa paste: You can use normal or rose harissa, whatever you prefer. I put 1 tbsp of harissa paste in but my paste is a fairly mild one – if yours is quite hot, you may to start with half the amount and add more as needed after tasting it.
- Cream: Double or heavy cream is good here, or you could use mascarpone if that’s what you’ve got (if you use mascarpone, you’d want to use less, due to it being so thick).
- Cheese: Something in the parmesan / pecorino / salty hard cheese family. I use a pecorino made with vegetarian rennet (parmesan and many other Italian cheeses are made with animal rennet, making them unsuitable for vegetarian diets.)
- Herbs: I love to add fresh chives and parsley to this, though you could spin it differently with cilantro (fresh coriander) or even basil, depending on what you’ve got.
- Toast: I love toasted sourdough but ciabatta would be great too. This recipe is made to serve two, but depending on the size of your bread, it might equate to 1 or 2 slices of bread per person.
Other ways to use harissa mushrooms
These mushrooms can be enjoyed in plenty of other ways!
- Baked potato or sweet potato topping.
- Burger topping (I would love to try this with a Beyond Burger!)
- Over rice or other grains, as part of a “bowl” meal.
- Mixed with pasta (you would need to add some of the pasta cooking water to thin it out).
Creamy Harissa Mushrooms on Toast
- olive oil, for cooking
- 250 g (9 oz) mushrooms, sliced
- 1 shallot, finely diced
- 2 tsp garlic, crushed
- 1 tbsp harissa paste
- 3 tbsp parmesan, pecorino or other hard cheese, grated, see notes
- 4 tbsp heavy (double) cream
- 1 handful fresh herbs, parsley, chives and cilantro (fresh coriander) work well
- ½ lime or lemon, for squeezing
- 2-3 slices toasted bread
- In a medium-large frying pan or saute pan, heat a little olive oil and saute the mushrooms and shallots until the mushrooms are reduced and browned.olive oil, 250 g mushrooms, 1 shallot
- Add the garlic and fry for just another few moments until the scent is released.2 tsp garlic
- Remove from the heat and add the harissa. Mix through the pan to coat the mushrooms.1 tbsp harissa paste
- Add the cream and cheese, then place back on a very low heat until the cheese has melted through and a sauce has formed around the mushrooms.4 tbsp heavy (double) cream, 3 tbsp parmesan, pecorino or other hard cheese
- Add the herbs and remove from the heat.1 handful fresh herbs
- Toast your bread and immediately scoop your mushrooms on top. Add a squeeze of lemon or lime juice, and any additional topping if desired (a tiny drizzle of cream and some crumbled cheese, as shown, can be lovely for presentation but definitely not essential).2-3 slices toasted bread, 1/2 lime or lemon