I was recently having dinner at El Dorado kitchen in Sonoma for my birthday and had a stunning dish with king trumpet mushrooms as an appetizer. I’ve had these mushrooms before in Asian dishes, but never prepared like this. They were cross-hatched, grilled, and served with Gruyère fondue, balsamic reduction, almonds, and frisée. I knew I wanted to play around with this ingredient again and highlight this technique. These mushrooms are basically the scallops of the vegetable world; not very flavorful, but with a chewy, soft texture that plays well with crunchy, sweet accompaniments.
This dish is incredibly versatile. Once you have the technique down of cooking the mushrooms, you can serve them with just about anything. Think mushroom risotto topped with grilled king trumpets, instead of a summer salsa roast some vegetables and top them with the mushrooms, or add them atop a hearty salad.
I threw this recipe together with just the ingredients I had on hand, which anyone can easily do. Don’t like cilantro? Leave it out and try using fresh mint. Want a crunch? Add some chopped hazelnuts or pine nuts. It’s not one of those recipes where measurements matter very much so just go with what you have, improvise, and have fun with it!
King Trumpet Mushrooms with Summer Salsa
serves 2 as an appetizer
For the Salsa:
1/2 very ripe peach, small dice
1/4 red onion, finely minced
1 small tomato, small dice
2 tablespoons fresh corn
2 teaspoons champagne vinegar
1 tablespoon cilantro, minced, and more for sprinkling over final dish
salt to taste
For the Mushrooms:
6 king trumpet mushrooms
olive oil for brushing
balsamic vinegar for brushing
- In a bowl add all of the salsa ingredients and mix well. Taste for seasoning and set aside to marinate while you prepare the mushrooms.
- Brush any dirt off the mushrooms with a damp towel. Slice the mushrooms in half lengthwise and score them in a cross-hatch pattern.
- Preheat a cast iron or non-stick skillet to medium heat. While pan is heating, brush the cut section of the mushrooms first with olive oil, then with the balsamic vinegar.
- Add a few tablespoons of olive oil to the pan and gently add the mushrooms cut-side down. The mushrooms will burn easily so you may need to turn the heat down, depending upon what type of pan you are using and how hot your stove runs. Sear them for a few minutes and when they are golden brown carefully flip them over with a pair of tongs so they can sear on the other side for a few more minutes. You don’t want to cook the mushrooms down nothing, you want to keep them plump and meaty. Sprinkle the mushrooms with salt at this point.
- To serve, place salsa on a dish, arrange the mushrooms on top, and sprinkle with cilantro. You can also drizzle with a balsamic reduction or your favorite olive oil.