Mushroom and blueberry crostini with anise

Crostini with mushroom, blueberries, and anise

Baking sourdough bread is one of the most satisfying things I know unless my starter is messing with me. That’s why I’m trying to bake on a regular basis, at least once a week. I try to avoid my starter getting into a deeper sleep. If they are allowed to fall into a coma they can be a bit grumpy when you try to wake them up. Trust me.

But if you bake often there will be a lot of bread. And quite often my family and I don’t manage to eat everything before it gets stale.
It’s not a big deal since there are lots of things you can do with stale bread like bread crumbs, croutons, etc.

But the easiest way to take care of stale bread is perhaps to make a grilled sandwich or crostini out of it. The result is often delicious. Much better than if you had used some junk bread from the grocery store. And the best thing is that you can put almost anything on a crostini. Search your refrigerator to see what you can find. With a little imagination, you can create a fantastic lunch, at almost no cost.

This week I found some leftover brown mushrooms in the fridge. That felt like a good start. Nothing can go completely wrong with mushrooms. Now I only had to find something that goes well with mushrooms. Butter and garlic are the obvious choices. But I also found some creme cheese. That should work as well.



Star anise


Now it was time to be a little bit more adventurous. Instead of choosing mushroom-friendly herbs like thyme or oregano I went for star anise. I also wanted a hint of sweetness, and I had already grabbed the bottle with balsamic glaze when I changed my mind. Balsamic glaze is great, but not very adventurous. Besides, it was not long ago that I published a recipe with mushrooms and balsamic glaze. Another one would feel a bit boring. But what should I choose instead?

After a moment of thinking, I chose blueberries.

Now, before you leave, thinking that my ability to pair food can be compared to that of an ape, I want to point out that anise and blueberries work excellently together. Blueberry jam with star anise is a treat.
But would blueberries and mushrooms be a good pairing? I had no idea. I have to admit that I had never read any recipe with these two ingredients together.

So I decided to see if I could find anything on Google. And to my surprise, I found lots of recipes claiming that mushrooms and blueberries were an excellent combination. A bit unexpected, but yet excellent. And don’t forget the cream cheese. Cream cheese is a good pairing to everything, so I decided to give it try.

And to my surprise, it was just as good as everybody claimed. I thought it would work, but I never expected it to be that tasty. Anise is an exceptional spice for both mushrooms and blueberries. That was perhaps not so unexpected. But mushrooms and blueberries are also a good pairing. I promise. Next time I make this crostini I will reduce the amount of creme cheese though because I think it softens the flavors a bit to much. And perhaps I will also add some muscovado sugar to enhance the taste of blueberries.

Cooking is an eternal process of experimentation. That’s what makes it so fun.

Mushroom and blueberry crostini with anise

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Mushroom and blueberry crostini with anise
This mushroom crostini provides a lot of exciting flavors. A slice of fried sourdough bread topped with cream cheese, mushrooms, and blueberries with a hint of licorice from star anise.
  1. Start by grinding star anise to a coarse powder in a mortar and pestle. Grind the whole stars (both seed and pod) Mince the garlic clove
  2. Cut the mushrooms into quarters and fry on high temperature with half of the butter. Lower the heat and add garlic and a pinch of anise the last minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Fry the bread slice with the rest of the butter in a skillet until golden brown.
  4. Spread cream cheese on the bread slice and add the mushrooms.
  5. Mash half of the bluberries togheter wit a pinch of anise. Spread on top of the mushrooms.
  6. Garnish with the rest of the blueberries and sprinkle the rest of the anise over the crostini.
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Reduce-food-waste Quiche with anything

reduce food waste Quiche with anything

Food waste. It has been a while since I have ranted about this issue. So it’s time to write a little about it, right? It needs to be written about because the amount of food we are wasting in the western world is horrible.

Food waste infographic

Those figures are just freaking bizarre. We must all do something about it. Me too, because I’m far from perfect. Therefore I’m constantly looking for new strategies to reduce the amount of food that slides down into the waste bin. One thing I use to do every week is to make an inventory in my fridge. I’m looking for food that starts approaching its expiration date and trying to compose a meal of it.
It’s good for two reasons.

  • I find food in time before it becomes inedible.
  • I find food that already is inedible.

The second reason is almost as important as the first. It’s distressing to find fuzzy stuff in the refrigerator unless it is a blue cheese.

In last weeks inventory, I found a piece of sweet potato, some feta cheese, a jar half filled with olives, some scallions, and one tomato.
The tomato was a bit soft and the sweet potato looked somewhat tired, but I decided to use it anyway. The rest of the food items were not in such a critical state, but they wouldn’t stay fresh for so much longer. I paid special attention to the feta cheese, but finally, I decided that it was OK.

sweet potato and scallion

There is always milk, eggs, butter, parmesan cheese, and flour in my fridge and pantry, and I grow my own herbs, so I have a surplus of thyme, rosemary, and sage.



I had all the ingredients for a one portion Quiche.

A Quiche is easy to make. The hardest part is the dough. But even that is easy if you have a stand mixer. But it doesn’t take that much longer to do it in a bowl by hand. If you put the butter in the freezer, you can grate it instead of cutting it into small cubes. It goes faster, and it will make the dough mixing a bit easier.

Pie crust


rolled pie crust


crust in pie dish

This Quiche is quite small, so it doesn’t need a long time in the oven. Therefore I decided to fry the sweet potato for a few minutes. Apart from that, I followed a “standard” Quiche recipe. I found a small pie dish that I could use. Next time I will try to place the pie crust in a preheated skillet. I think it should work.

quiche unbaked

So I ended up with a creamy Quiche with salty and slightly tangy notes from the olives and feta cheese. I’m a sucker for thyme and sage, so I used plenty of it. Feel free to use whatever herbs you like or have available.
This is a perfect lunch. Almost for free. A few more days and some of the food items I used would have started to transform into something nasty. They would have been ready for the waste bin. This is perhaps not a giant step against a better world. But it’s the little things that make a difference. Like the fact that I forgot to add the damn tomato.


Reduce food waste Quiche


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Reduce-food-waste-Quiche with sweet potato and feta cheese
Food waste is bad, I think we can all agree on that. A pleasant way to reduce your food waste is to make a Quiche. A Quiche can be varied endlessly with whatever you can find in your refrigerator. I'm thinking about all those bits and pieces that will soon transform into something fuzzy, mean, and totally inedible.
Tart dough
Tart dough
  1. Mix flour butter and salt in a large bowl to a crumbly dough. Add water and knead until dough comes together. Wrap in clingfilm and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to350ºF /180ºC.
  3. Roll the dough between two sheets of cling film to a thickness of 1/8 inch / 3 mm.
  4. Fit the dough into a small pie dish or whatever suitable heat resistant dish you can find. A small skillet will probably work fine.
  5. If you are planning to add root vegetables like sweet potatoes It can be a good idea to saute them for a minute or two before adding them to the filling.
  6. Beat together milk, egg, mustard, and salt in a bowl.
  7. Place all your fillings in the unbaked tart shell and pour the milk and egg mixture over everything. Sprinkle some parmesan cheese if you have. Any cheese will do.
  8. Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until the filling is just set.
Recipe Notes

I won't enter all the ingredients for the filling. The whole idea of this recipe is that you should use your imagination and what you can find in your own refrigerator. If you still want to do the same Quiche as I did, you can find the ingredients I used in the blog text above. But I will not give you the amounts because I don't remember that myself. 😉

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