This version of bruschetta is so tasty and filling that it can work as a whole meal along with a warm bowl of scrumptious soup. This recipe uses the Daiya brand of vegan “cheese” which is hands-down, the best one out there. If you’re used to eating regular cheese, then don’t waste your energy comparing the two or trying to convince yourself that the Daiya stuff tastes the same. It does not. But if you’re looking for a healthier, animal-friendly product that does what conventional cheese does in a dish like this one that only requires a sprinkling, then Daiya is for you. Just think of it as a different thing altogether… not as a substitute for cheese. I personally think it tastes fantastic and have started using it with a ton of different dishes.
To make this bruschetta, first bake or warm a loaf of bread. I love the par-baked ones that Trader Joe’s sells. They’re marked “V” for vegan but if you’re buying your bread elsewhere, be sure to check the ingredient list. Slice the bread and then spread a layer of Earth Balance buttery spread (from the tub or stick) on each piece. In a bowl, mix about a cup of diced shiitakes, a 1/2 cup unseasoned bread crumbs, some salt and pepper, and a cup of Daiya vegan cheese (I used mozzarella and cheddar-styles). Place a layer of the mushroom mixture on each slice of bread and then sprinkle a little more Daiya cheese on top of each piece for hold. Toast once in toaster oven on medium setting then switch to baking at 350 for about 5-10 minutes depending on the strength of your toaster oven.
When I made this, we downed the whole plate in record time.