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Wild Mushroom Toast Recipe

mushroom toast with vegan nutritional yeast gravy recipe

“If you don’t see any mushrooms, just stop, stand still, and look.”

I remembered this advice from an experienced forager as I brushed off the frustration of an empty-handed foray into a patch of woods in Hinesburg, Vermont with Phil last week. I took a pause, softened my gaze, and looked around the forest floor. Almost immediately a log, lush with fresh pear-shaped puffballs, appeared before my eyes. I bent down and pinched one to check its freshness. Yes, perfect.

foraging for wild puffball mushrooms that grow on a downed log in vermont
Pear-shaped puffballs (Lycoperdon pyriforme)

Just then, Phil called out from across the trail to let me know he found a Lion’s Mane — an elusive mushroom that has the texture and flavor of seafood, specifically scallops and crab.  In the past year of foraging, we had only found one Lion’s Mane, so this was a treat. By the time we left the forest, we had gathered over 10 pounds of fresh, wild mushrooms. It was a good day.

Foraging for wild lions mane mushrooms in Vermont
Phil finds a sneaky little Lion’s Mane (Hericium erinaceus)

I love to cook with mushrooms for many reasons. They’re nutritious, have great anti-inflammatory properties, impart great umami flavors into any dish, and pair with just about any other ingredient. We got home from our hunt, and I got to work with the puffballs. A simple sauté with olive oil, garlic, and fresh rosemary was all they needed. That, with a nutritional yeast gravy over August First toast? Heaven on a plate.

The Lion’s Mane was a bit more involved. I knew I wanted to make something special, so I followed a classic crab cake recipe, but subbed the shredded mushrooms for the crab. I bumped up the spice level, and made my own bread crumbs from August First rolls. Paired with a simple Sriracha mayo, they made for a fun weekend dinner.

Mock crab cakes made with foraged wild Lion's Mane Mushrooms
Lion’s Mane Mushroom “crab” Cakes

Mushroom Toast with Nutritional Yeast Gravy

*Note: Phil and I have done extensive research to learn about mushroom foraging. Please use commercial mushrooms in this recipe, unless you are an experienced forager!



  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 pound mushrooms, coarsely chopped (we recommend Baby Bellas)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

Add garlic and mushrooms, stirring occasionally until mushrooms are lightly browned, about 5-7 minutes.

Reduce heat to low. Add rosemary, salt, and pepper.

Cook until the mushrooms are soft, about 3-4 minutes.


ingredients for recipe of vegan nutritional yeast gravy
Easy-to-make Nutritional Yeast Gravy


  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp mustard
  • 1/4 tsp sriracha
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt, to taste

In a large skillet over medium heat add the nutritional yeast and flour, whisking constantly until aromatic, about 2 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium. Add the oil and whisk for 30 seconds.

Pour in the water and whisk vigorously until it thickens, about 1 minute.

Remove the gravy from heat.

Stir in the soy sauce, mustard, sriracha, black pepper and salt.

Serve warm gravy over toast with mushrooms.

NOTE: If the gravy thickens, it can be thinned by adding water.

Nutritional Yeast gravy (vegan) recipe with rosemary

Want to see more recipes? Here’s one for Tamarind Lentil Stew

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