I usually like to post in chronological order, but I was so pleased with how this meal turned out that I had to share it now!
When I received king trumpet mushrooms from my CSA, I knew right away what I wanted to try to do with them. I had seen scallops made from mushrooms around the internet before but couldn’t find a recipe, so I made up my own. I’m really happy with how they look…kind of like real scallops? I googled seared scallops to get a picture of what I should be going for, and I think I came pretty close. I wasn’t enamored with the flavor of the mushrooms on their own, but when I ate one with a bit of the lemony sauteed spinach, it came to life flavor-wise. The lemon is essential!
The nonstick skillet and high heat are important to get a proper sear. Be sure not to overcrowd the pan.
1/2 lb king trumpet mushrooms, stems about 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick
1 cup vegetable broth or water, plus more as needed
2 Tbs vegetarian fish sauce
1 Tbs agave nectar
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Slice off the ends of the mushroom stems, then slice the stems into pieces about 1 1/2-inches long. Save the caps for another purpose.
2. In a shallow container large enough to hold all of the mushrooms, whisk together the vegetable broth, vegetarian fish sauce and agave nectar. Add the mushrooms, and add more broth if needed, just to cover the mushrooms. Place another dish on top to keep the mushrooms submerged. Place in the refrigerator and marinate at least 8 hours.
3. Drain the mushrooms and pat them as dry as possible. Heat a nonstick skillet over high heat.
4. Season a few mushrooms lightly with salt and pepper on both cut sides. Place in the skillet, cut side down, and don’t move them for at least 1 minute. Check the mushrooms; they should be well-seared and pretty brown. If not, continue to let them cook until brown. Flip the mushrooms and sear the other sides. Remove to a plate and repeat until all mushrooms are cooked.
5. Serve hot with lemon wedges.
Yield: 15-16 scallops
Note: I listed a recipe for vegetarian fish sauce in this post, or there’s a recipe in How to Cook Everything Vegetarian that would probably work too.
My marinating vessel – two bread pans.
Don’t do like I did and season all the mushrooms at once! The salt draws out moisture and makes it more difficult to get a good sear.
The Flavor Bible says that scallops go well with cauliflower and spinach, and so that is what I made for side dishes. The spinach was sauteed very simply with shallots, garlic, and lemon juice and zest. The cauliflower gratin was based on this recipe, and was very easy and tasty. The only changes I made were to use almond milk and shredded Follow Your Heart cheddar. A cheesy gratin based on a roux might taste more fatty and satisfying, but this low-fat version was a nice light addition to the meal.
On a side note, I added a new page for my budding chef business here. Check it out!