Writing about this recipe has me completely taken back to the moment of “first bite”. You know… those life changing moments where you say “how have I lived before this dish entered my life”.
That was exactly this moment. When I first tasted Sarah’s recipe for Mushroom Scallops with Parsley-Spinach Pesto.
We ventured out to the Oregon coast for a day full of shooting and feasting.
The forecast promised rain, but after a prayer, the skies parted and we basked in the most incredible glow at sunset. There couldn’t have been a more perfect meal enjoyed in a more perfect setting in the sweetest of company. The night was beautiful, ending with conversation around the fire as the stars came out and the waves crashed in.
The flavor packed into this simple dish is remarkable. The unexpected vegan scallop approach in using mushrooms is absolutely delicious. And the great thing is, you can swap out for actual scallops if you desire. Honestly though, you can’t really even tell the difference : ).
Mushroom Scallops with Parsley-Spinach Pesto
- 1 lb. / 500g king oyster mushrooms choose ones with fat stems
- A generous amount of ghee
- Fine + flaky Salt
- 1 jar brined capers about 1/3 cup / 55g
- 1 handful toasted hazelnuts roughly chopped, for garnish
- 1 batch Parsley-Spinach Pesto recipe follows
- Cold-pressed olive oil for garnish
- a few leaves of parsley for garnish
- Makes about 2¼ cups
- 1 cup / 150g hazelnuts
- 1 fat clove garlic
- 2 cups / 35g flat-leaf parsley lightly packed (tender stems only)
- 2 cups / 65g baby spinach lightly packed
- zest of 1 organic lemon
- ⅓ cup/ 80ml freshly squeezed lemon juice about 2 lemons
- ¼ cup / 60ml cold-pressed olive oil
- ½ cup / 35g nutritional yeast
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ cup / 125ml water more if needed
- Remove any dirt or debris from the mushrooms with your hands, or small soft brush. (do not use water!). Slice the stems into enough rounds so that each person has 5 or 6. Keep the caps for another dish.
- Drain the capers and pat them dry with a clean tea towel or paper towel. Heat about a tablespoon of ghee (or coconut oil) in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the capers and fry until split and crisp – about 2-3 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Add more ghee (or coconut oil) to the same skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the sliced mushroom stems, a sprinkle of flaky salt, and cook on one side until golden, about 5-7 minutes. Then flip and cook on the other side until golden. Work in batches or use separate skillets – if you crowd the mushrooms they will steam each other and get soggy. That is not what we’re after!
- While you’re cooking the mushrooms, place the pesto in a small saucepan, add a touch of water to thin, if desired, and warm over low-medium heat. Do not boil!
- To serve, place about ¼ cup / 60ml of the warm pesto in the bottom of a dish, spreading it out to make an indent in the center. Place 5 or 6 mushroom stems in the pesto, then top with the fried capers and toasted hazelnuts. Drizzle with olive oil and a few grinds of black pepper. Garnish with parsley and serve.
Parsley-Spinach Pesto Directions:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place hazelnuts on baking sheet. Toast in oven for 12-15 minutes or until fragrant and lightly toasted. Remove and set aside. Once cool, remove skins by rubbing the hazelnuts together in your hands. Set aside.
- Remove any tough stems from the parsley. Roughly chop the leaves and tender stems (this prevents the parsley from bruising in the food processor).
- Place garlic in the food processor and pulse to mince. Add the hazelnuts, parsley, spinach, lemon zest and juice, olive oil, nutritional yeast, and salt. Pulse for 30 seconds, then add the water and pulse again until it’s thick, but spreadable. Remove lid and scrape. Repeat until reaches desired consistency (I like mine a little chunky, but it’s up to you!). Store leftovers in an airtight glass container in the fridge for up to one week.v
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I have! Make sure to also check out Part I featuring Butternut Squash Miso Soup with Wasabi and Arame (also pictured in this collection). See Sarah’s post here.