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King Oyster Mushroom Steak au Poivre with Dandelion Pesto

Servings: 4

Cut into thick slabs, scored, and seared, King Oyster mushrooms become pleasantly firm but chewy with an intense umami flavor. The pesto lends a pleasant sharpness that partners well with the meatiness of the mushrooms.


For the pesto

  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup dandelion greens, ribs removed
  • 1 packed cup fresh basil leaves (about 1 oz.)
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1 Tbs. white miso, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Cracked black pepper

For the mushroom steaks

  • 2 lb. King Oyster mushrooms, about 4 mushrooms, 6 to 8 inches long and 2 inches wide
  • 2 Tbs. avocado oil
  • 1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • 1 tsp. cracked black pepper


Make the pesto

Place the garlic and salt in a food processor, and let stand.

Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add the dandelion greens, and turn off the heat. Cover and let stand 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the greens from the water, and strain well. Spread on a plate, and let cool, about 5 minutes. Add the dandelion greens, basil, parsley, pine nuts, Pecorino Romano, and miso to the food processor. Pulse 5 times to create a coarse chop. With the processor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until just smooth.

Make the mushroom steaks

Preheat the oven to 200°F. Trim the bottom of the mushroom to remove any discoloration. Slice vertically into thirds about 3/8 inch thick. Using a sharp knife, score the flat side of each mushroom in diagonal lines, being careful not to cut all the way through. Score in the opposite direction to create hatch marks.

Heat a large cast-iron skillet oven over medium heat for 2 minutes, reduce heat to low, and add enough of the avocado oil to lightly coat the pan. Add 2 or 3 mushrooms steaks to the pan with the scored side facing up. Sprinkle with some of the salt. Increase the heat to medium-low. Cook on one side, gently pressing the mushrooms, until any liquid released has evaporated, about 10 minutes. When deep golden brown, turn and cook until browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the cooked mushrooms to a sheet pan, and keep warm in the oven. Repeat with the remaining mushrooms, oil, and salt.

Turn off the heat. Add the butter and pepper to the cast-iron pan. Swirl until melted. Drizzle over the mushrooms just before serving with the dandelion pesto.


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