But I do know it’s a wonderful showcase of seasonal ingredients brought into sharp focus on a bed of soft brie cheese. It’s this contrast that makes this recipe so interesting to me.
Besides, it’s an open-faced sandwich… As a kid, nothing was as fun to me as an open-faced sandwich. It sounds ridiculous now but an open-faced sandwich was the height of elegance to this 6‑year-old food nerd. Regular kids ate sandwiches with two pieces of bread. Regular kids ate sandwiches with the crusts cut off by their ‘mommies’. But I ate open-faced sandwiches and listened to my mother play Cat Stevens on the guitar and do her French homework at the same time.
Of course, many of my childhood open-faced sandwiches were really just plain old PB&J (with the crusts cut off). I regularly pulled sandwiches apart, opened them up, and served them to myself open-faced. But my love of the genre came from my mother, Cat Stevens, and the romance of conjugated verbs.
As an adult, I still love open-faced sandwiches. They’re really fun to work with because of their versatility. An open-faced sandwich has so many more options than sandwiches with two pieces of bread. Drippy options with a tendency toward messiness that can very quickly get out of hand. So keep a fork and napkin handy. Open-faced sandwiches aren’t meant to be eaten between two pieces of bread with two hands– the way regular adults eat. Some things never change. GREG
- 24 medium asparagus
- 2 T unsalted butter
- 1 T olive oil
- 4 oz small chanterelle mushrooms (halved or quartered if large)
- 0.5 c low-sodium chicken stock
- 2 T cream
- 2 t finely chopped fresh cchopped fresh herbs of your choice
- 2 t freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 4 sli (1/2 inch thick) rustic bread, very lightly toasted
- 8 sli brie
Turn on the broiler.
Slice the asparagus tips and about 2‑inches of stalk from the rest of the asparagus. Set the tips aside for this recipe. Save the remaining stalks for another use.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add butter and oil; heat until butter has melted. Add the asparagus and cook stirring often for 1 minute. Stir in chanterelle mushrooms and stock; bring to a simmer. Cover the pan and cook 2 more minutes. Uncover, and cook until asparagus is tender, about 2 minutes more. Add cream; cook until reduced and slightly thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in herbs and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper; remove from heat. Cover and set aside.
Place the toasts on a baking sheet and top each with 2 slices of brie. Place the baking sheet under the broiler until the cheese begins to bubble and the edges of the toast get browned. Watch them carefully. When finished place the toasts onto 4 individual serving plates. Divide the chanterelle and asparagus mixture evenly between the toasts, and drizzle with sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.