Yield: 4 servings
Oyster mushroom “scallops”? Yes please! This dish is not only elegant, visually stunning, and packed with flavor, but it also boasts several health benefits!
King oyster mushrooms are used as a scallop replacement in the dish, and are one of my all time favorite mushrooms. Although they are native to Asia and Mediterranean regions of Europe, Middle East, and North Africa, several mushroom cultivators throughout the US grow them for consumption, making them accessible. They’re known for their anti-inflammatory properties, provide a great plant based source of protein, and are said to be high in riboflavin, potassium, vitamin b6, iron and more. For flavor and aromatics, the dish relies on fresh herbs like oregano and thyme. In addition to providing warmth and subtle sweetness to the dish, oregano is high in antioxidants, decreases inflammation, and has bacteria fighting properties, while thyme is high in vitamin c. Creating a dish that is both healthy and delicious is very rewarding. It just so happens that a lot of the foods that are good for us, are also amongst some of the best and most commonly used ingredients!
I always have so much fun in the kitchen when I extend the bounds of plant based cooking– especially when it comes to recreating seafood. One of my life philosophies has always been to meet people where they are, and finding foods that I can convince meat eaters in my life to try (and that they ultimately love) starts with recreating dishes that they enjoy. This dish is a game changer for anyone who is plant-curious!
Butternut Squash Puree
- 1 cup butternut squash, cubed
- 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- ½ shallot, roughly chopped
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
- ½ tsp dried rosemary
- ½ cup oat milk or vegetable broth
Oyster Mushroom “Scallops”
- 2 cups water
- 2 sheets of nori, crushed
- 6 oz oyster mushroom stems, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 bunch fresh thyme
- 1 bunch fresh oregano
- ½ tsp fresh cracked black pepper
- ¼ cup white wine
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ cup plant butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Fill a small saucepan with water, then place on high heat.
- Once the water begins boiling, add your butternut squash and boil for about 20 minutes, until completely softened.
- In a cast iron skillet, saute garlic and shallot in olive oil on medium heat, until golden.
- To a blender, add the butternut squash, garlic, shallot, salt, red pepper flakes, rosemary, and oat milk. Blend until completely smooth, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, add 2 cups of water and the crushed nori.
- Score the tops of the oyster mushrooms, then place into the bowl, allowing them to soak for 30 minutes-4 hours. This will impart a nice oceanic flavor to the mushrooms, the longer the mushrooms soak, the better.
- In the cast iron skillet, add ¼ cup plant butter and olive oil over medium high heat.
- Place your mushroom “scallops” scored side down into the hot oil / butter mixture– they’ll need to sear for about 3-4 minutes to get a nice golden color.
- Add a few sprigs of thyme and oregano to the pan, and lightly season the mushrooms with black pepper and salt. Baste the mushrooms with the pan juices.
- Once your mushrooms are nice and brown on the scored side, reduce the heat to medium low and flip the mushrooms.
- Add the white wine to the pan, and allow it to reduce for about 5 minutes.
- Take a generous spoonful of the butternut squash purée, and plate it down the center of your serving dish.
- Place mushroom “scallops” atop the purée, garnish as desired, and serve immediately.