Spring has finally sprung in Toronto and our weather is finally behaving as it should; the greenery is no longer terrified to show itself and many have already begun their journey into Summer 2015 — the saucer magnolias are spectacular in the hood. The Japanese Cherry blossoms in High Park are still tucked away but a few days of warmth and sunshine should remedy that and they’ll be in full bloom in no time. We had our first drinks on the back patio on Friday and we celebrated with some tasty bites.
Now about these bites, I came upon this discovery quite by accident…I was exploring a recipe for bacon-wrapped mushrooms I saw on Greg’s lovely blog (BTW, exceptional recipe) using King mushrooms and as I was cutting into them, I couldn’t help but think they looked a lot like scallops. So a few days later, I dug out an old favourite recipe I posted in 2008, Grilled Scallop Bruschetta with Avocado Paste — The King mushrooms made a wonderful substitution for the scallops but sadly I didn’t have any of our favourite avocado paste (I freeze it in ice cube trays and then put them into plastic baggies for quick hors d’œuvres). It’s a classy hors d’œuvres for a summer cocktail party that I hope you will give a try. For a vegan version, you can omit the parmesan cheese from the pesto or serve it over the avocado paste as I had intended. The King mushrooms not only look like scallops but cooked well, they even have a lovely scallop-like texture.
King Mushroom “Scallops” on Pesto Crostinis
a Kitcheninspirations Original Recipe
- 2 thick King Mushrooms
- 2 tbsp of your favourite sugary vinegar, or a sauce with a high percentage of sugar (for caramelization) (I used a Baco Noir & Blueberry Balsamic)
- 1 tsp canola oil (or oil with a high flash point)
- 4 thin crostini bread, your choice
- 1 tbsp pesto (please click here for recipe)
- sea salt
- Wipe/wash the king mushrooms and dry off well. Cut into 4 thick slices. Marinate the slices in the vinegar for 5-10 minutes. Reserve marinating vinegar.
- Toast the bread on both sides and slather with 1 tsp of the pesto on each. Set aside.
- Heat a cast iron frying pan until very hot add the oil and heat up. Drop each slice of mushroom onto the hot pan and lower the temperature to medium. You want to cook the mushroom while developing a beautiful caramelization on each side.
- Add one slice of cooked mushroom to each avocado slathered crostini. Add the marinating vinegar to deglaze the pan and thicken by cooking it down (shouldn’t take long). Drizzle the pan juices onto each crostini, sprinkle with a little sea salt. Serve immediately.