Mushroom Toast with Pesto
July 24, 2020
By Elizabeth Palmer Califano

This freezer and pantry friendly recipe relies on a few shelf-stable basics to elevate the humble mushroom to a crave-worthy meal. Rich in energy-boosting B vitamins and immune system bolstering vitamin D, mushrooms are an ideal ingredient to add to your quarantine grocery list.

They also contain a plethora of antioxidants and trace minerals, aiding everything from brain function to gut and bone health. The pesto here provides a boost of flavor and dose of detoxifying greens. Serve this recipe up as a satisfying light lunch, or pair it with a big green salad for a more substantial meal. Check out the leftovers recipe notes below to make sure none of your groceries go to waste!

Serves 2 (with extra pesto leftover)

Total Time: 25 minutes


Pesto Ingredients:

  • 1 cup mixed herbs and greens (try any combination of basil, parsley, cilantro, spinach, kale, arugula, or even frozen greens quickly defrosted in a pan until softened)
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup nuts or seeds (try pine nuts, walnuts, hemp seeds, cashews, or omit if unavailable)
  • Juice of 1 lemon, or a splash of apple cider, champagne, or balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Pesto Directions:

  1. In a blender, combine all the above ingredients with a splash of cold water, and blend until completely smooth. 
  2. Add more water or olive oil to thin it out further if needed. Season to taste with salt and pepper or extra lemon or vinegar if needed. 

Mushroom toast on a blue plate.

Mushroom Toast Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups mixed mushrooms (whatever is freshest and available, everything from the humble button mushroom to fancy gourmet mixes works here), rinsed, drained, and roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Juice from ½ lemon, or a small splash of apple cider, champagne, or balsamic vinegar
  • 2 thick slices of your favorite bread (sourdough works especially well here)
  • Ricotta, fresh herbs or sprouts, and flaky sea salt to garnish, optional


Mushroom Directions:

  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the mushrooms, toss through the oil, and leave undisturbed for 3-4 minutes to encourage a golden crust on the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper, add the garlic and toss through.
  2. Cook for another 3-4 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender and all the released liquid cooks off. Off the heat, add the lemon or vinegar and stir well.
  3. Toast your bread slices until golden, and spread with a bit of ricotta if using, then a spread of the prepared pesto.
  4. Arrange the mushrooms over the pesto, and top with the fresh herbs or sprouts and a sprinkling of flaky salt if using. Enjoy! 

Leftovers Recipe Notes: Any leftover mushrooms and pesto can be tossed through warm pasta with some additional olive oil and a bit of parmesan for a delicious and hearty meal. Also, consider slicing and freezing fresh bread when you’re able to buy or bake it so you always have some on hand. 

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About the Author

Elizabeth Palmer Califano
Elizabeth is a graduate of Hamilton College and The French Culinary Institute, as well as an avid world traveler and dinner party hostess. For more information, visit her website: