Around my house, Thanksgiving calls for flavorful appetizers, Manhattan cocktails, a huge turkey to feed our giant clan, and several side dishes and desserts that we never do without. One of those flavorful appetizers is bruschetta topped with mushroom and melted brie. Fresh thyme – a lot of it – is a key component in this dish and the flavors of all the different components marry together so brilliantly, you'd swear you could skip the rest of the feast and munch on these all day. This appetizer is elegant and rustic at the same time. It's finger food, but it presents beautifully, making it a wonderful start to a Thanksgiving feast.
1 baguette, sliced diagonally
1 pound white mushrooms, sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for brushing
2 cloves garlic, chopped, plus 1 whole clove, peeled
4–5 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed (or 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme)
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1 wedge of your favorite brie
Fresh thyme is a key component to this dish, but if you're in a bind, dry thyme can work as well.
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- In a large sauté pan, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, chopped garlic, and thyme to the pan and let cook until mushrooms are brown, approximately 15–20 minutes. Remove from heat, add salt, and stir.
- Organize baguette slices in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Brush the top side of each slice with olive oil. Place in the oven for about 15 minutes until slices are crunchy. Remove from the oven (but keep the oven on) and let cool. Once bread slices are cool enough to handle, lightly rub the top of each slice with the garlic clove for extra flavor.
- Assemble by topping each slice of bread with 3–4 mushroom slices and a slice of brie. Place back in the oven for 5–8 minutes, or until brie is slightly melted. Serve warm.