baked mushrooms with fresh thyme

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sports fans everywhere are happy that the weekends are filled with great events to watch on television.  from college to professional play, there is something for everyone during the month of November.

therefore, easy appetizers are always welcome to accompany the fun of the game.  i love this quick and delicious appetizer that can be served with crackers or small toast slices.  everyone will love the flavor and texture of the warm mushrooms and cheese.

simply prepare a shallow ceramic baking dish with cooking spray.  clean and slice one box of white mushrooms.  i remove the stems.  place in the baking dish and drizzle with a very light drizzle of olive oil.  a splash of white wine could be used as well for an upscale flavor.  bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 6-8 minutes to start the cooking process of the mushrooms.

since the cheese melts very quickly, it is important to make certain the mushrooms are nicely cooked underneath.  remove the dish from the oven and add pieces of fresh thyme and shredded fontina or fontinella cheese to the top.  return to the oven and bake for another 6 minutes.  check the cheese to make certain that it does not burn.  this cheese is soft and melts beautifully. after removing from the oven, slide the thyme leaves off of the stems to serve.  the stems should  never be eaten, but the baked thyme gives a wonderful flavor to the dish.

serve with crackers and sliced fruit.  a tray of pear and apple slices works nicely, to complement the flavor of the mushrooms.

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