Crispy Mushrooms with Root Purée & Kale Zhoug

Crispy Mushrooms with Root Purée & Kale Zhoug

Crispy Mushrooms with Root Purée & Kale Zhoug 

The components of this dish are fantastic together but also stand beautifully on their own. I like to make enough for leftovers of the purée and zhoug, and serve the purée like I would mashed potatoes or as a base for seared fish, and use the zhoug anytime I want some herbaceous spice (i.e. with roasted carrots or sweet potatoes). 

Serves 2-3

For the Root Purée 

330 grams/12 ounces celery root or parsnips

2 cloves garlic, peeled but left whole 

2 tablespoons olive oil 

½ teaspoon salt 

1 teaspoon stone-ground or dijon mustard 

3-4 tablespoons milk (dairy or non-dairy) 

Freshly ground black pepper

Lemon juice 

Peel and trim your celery root or parsnips, then roughly chop into 2” pieces. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, and add the root veggies and whole garlic cloves. Return to a boil then reduce to a simmer, and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until soft when pierced with a knife or fork. Drain water off and add the roots and garlic to the bowl of a food processor or blender. Add olive oil, salt, mustard, a few grinds of black pepper, and 3 tablespoons milk and process until smooth, adding a tablespoon or so more of milk as needed. Season to taste with salt and a squeeze of lemon juice as desired 

For the Kale Zhoug (makes roughly 1 cup)

3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped 

30 grams (approx 1 small) jalepeño, roughly chopped

100 grams (½ cup) olive oil

40 grams (approx 1 packed cup) cilantro leaves and their stems, roughly chopped 

25 grams (approx ⅓ packed cup) kale leaves, roughly chopped 

1-2 tablespoons lime juice 

½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning 

½ teaspoon coriander seed, toasted and ground 

½ teaspoon cumin seed, toasted and ground 

½ teaspoon cardamom seed, ground 

Combine garlic, jalepeño, olive oil, and a big pinch of salt in the bowl of a food processor or blender, and blend until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until finely chopped and becoming relatively smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Transfer to a medium bowl and thin with additional olive oil and/or lime juice to reach the consistency of a semi-thick dressing. Season to taste with salt as needed. 

For the Pan-Roasted Mushrooms 

250 grams (8 ounces) oyster mushrooms, ends trimmed and torn into medium sized sections 

2 tablespoons high-heat oil (avocado or grapeseed) 

Kosher salt 

Freshly ground black pepper

Have two heavy-bottomed pans (ideally cast iron), one large and one slightly smaller, at the ready for this. Heat the larger pan over medium-high heat and add the oil, swirling to coat the surface of the pan. When it’s hot, add the mushrooms to the pan. Once you hear a sizzle from the mushrooms, put the second pan on top of the mushrooms. Press down on the top pan occasionally, using a towel to prevent steam from hitting your hands. Cook for 5-6 minutes and check to make sure the mushrooms are golden-brown and seared on the bottom side. Add a bit more oil, then flip to cook the second side for a further 4-5 minutes or until evenly browned. Transfer to a plate and season with salt and black pepper. 

To Assemble & Serve 

Parsnip Purée (recipe above)

Kale Zhoug (recipe above)

Flaky salt

Cilantro leaves

Jalapeño slices (cut very thin)

Spread a layer of parsnip purée on a serving plate, then arrange the seared mushrooms on top. Drizzle some zhoug on top, and garnish with flaky salt, cilantro leaves, and thinly sliced jalepeños if desired. Enjoy immediately.

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