There are so many mushrooms beyond the typical cremini/white button mushrooms we often see that not only have powerful medicinal healing benefits + are great for us, but also have a natural umami or savory flavor + texture that can lend themselves to be a perfect meat substitute.
I wanted to showcase the ~magic~ with these very simple vegan scallops using the stems of king oyster mushrooms. I know this sounds weird but TRUST ME! When cut in medallions + soaked in hot water these stems become the perfect texture to mimic a scallop. Then when we cook them in oil they become beautifully browned + flavorful on top of a cozy bed of pasta.
I love them with my simple basil pesto or even a white wine sauce if you’re feeling extra sassy. Give this recipe a try!
- 4 king oyster mushrooms, stems cut in ~1 inch medallions + scored if desired (see picture)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 8 oz gluten-free pasta
- 2 cups (140 g) fresh basil leaves* (no stems)
- 1 clove of garlic
- 4 tbsp (33 g) pine nuts/walnuts/sunflower seeds/pumpkin seeds
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 3 tbsp vegan parmesan or nutritional yeast (optional)
- ¼ cup olive oil**
- pinch of sea salt + black pepper
- pinch of red pepper chili flakes
- wash the mushrooms to remove any dirt + pat dry. cut off the tip of the stem of the mushrooms as well as the caps. you can save the caps for another recipe or sauté + include them in this recipe (they just won't look like scallops).
- cut the stems into ~1 inch medallions + score medallions (optional). see picture above
- soak the medallions in hot water for 20-30 minutes to soften
- place the basil leaves, garlic, pine nuts, lemon juice, salt + vegan parmesan (if using) in the food processor or mini blender processing until a paste forms, scraping down the sides as needed. slowly add the olive oil a little at a time until you reach the consistency you prefer
- taste + adjust seasoning as needed. I added more salt + pine nuts! set aside pesto
- bring a large pot of salted water to a boil + prepare pasta based on the package instructions. drain + set aside
- drain the mushrooms + pat them dry. heat a skillet with 2 tbsp of olive oil on medium-high heat
- place the medallions score side up in the hot oil + flip once browned, about 3-5 minutes. then brown the scored side, about another 3-5 minutes
- plate the pasta, pour the pesto + place the browned scallops on top OR stir the pesto into the pot of pasta + plate with browned scallops on top. sprinkle with sea salt, pepper + red pepper chili flakes if desired
**if you are avoiding oil feel free to use broth or water instead