I’ve written before about how much I loved shellfish before I went vegan, and how that was one of the only food groups I found difficult to give up. Previously, I’ve shared a recipe for vegan “scallops” with white wine cream sauce. The recipe featured “scallops” made from king oyster mushrooms with a decadent pasta bathed in white wine cream sauce. I really enjoy using oyster mushrooms in this application. When marinated well they provided a close approximation to both the taste and the texture of scallops. I created this new recipe with fine dining in mind. Nothing says fine dining quite like scallops. To keep the upscale feel I prepared it with a creamy herb risotto, pomegranate gastrique, and a garnish of fresh micro-greens.
I feel like there’s a misconception that “fancy” food is difficult to make, but it’s really minimalist and quite simple. Consider this one for your next date night in, or dinner party. This recipe doesn’t take too long to put together, and will impress even your carnivorous friends. The most time consuming part of it is stirring the risotto while the broth cooks out. Don’t skip out on making a gastrique for this dish. If you’ve never made a gastrique it may seem tricky, but it only takes a few minutes to throw together. The gastrique adds a light touch of citrus and pomegranate that adds some freshness to the scallops.
Vegan Scallops and Risotto
- 5-6 large king trumpet or king oyster mushrooms
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth, or water mixed with vegetable bouillon
- 1 tbsp white miso paste
- 1/4 cup vegan white wine
- 1 tbsp olive or caper juice
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp mirin
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- additional white wine to deglaze the pan
- 2 tbsp earth balance or other vegan butter
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 1/4 cup blend of chopped fresh thyme, rosemary, and sage
- 1/2 a yellow onion
- 2 shallots
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 cube not chick’n bouillon
- 4 cups hot water
- 1/2 cup vegan white wine
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp follow your heart grated vegan parmesan
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
Gastrique and Garnish Ingredients
- 1 cup of fresh micro-greens
- 2 tbsp vegan butter
- 1 shallot, minced
- seeds from one pomegranate
- juice from 2 lemons
- juice from 2 oranges
- 2 tbsp white sugar
- 1/4 cup vegan white wine
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- Cut down king oyster mushrooms into large scallop sized chunks excluding the caps. Score the “scallops” if you’d like (this helps add flavor), and set them aside.
- Dice the caps, and set them aside. You can cook these down and add them to the risotto for a nice textural element.
- In a medium bowl, combine the marinade ingredients. Add the Oyster mushrooms to the marinade, and place into the fridge for at least an hour.
- Dice the onion, and mince the shallots and garlic for the risotto. In a large pan, or sauce pan, simmer the shallots, onion, and garlic in the olive oil. Add the diced mushroom cap, so that it can cook down.
- Add the arborio rice to the pan, and let it toast for about two minutes.
- Add the 1/2 cup of white wine, and let it cook down while stirring periodically.
- Add a cube of not chick’n bouillon to four cups of water. Microwave on high, and whisk to dissolve.
- Add the broth to the risotto one cup at a time. Allow it to cook down in between adding each cup.
- The risotto should be almost completely done cooking when you add the final cup of broth. When you add the final cup allow it to cook down half way, and then add in your fresh herbs, nutritional yeast, and vegan parmesan. If you can’t find vegan parmesan sub two additional tablespoons of nutritional yeast.
- While your risotto is cooking start the gastrique. Aim to start it about halfway through the cook time on the risotto to allow everything to finish around the same time.
- To make the gastrique cook minced shallot in butter in a small sauce pot until it becomes translucent.
- Add pomegranate seeds, orange juice, lemon juice, sugar, wine, and vinegar. Whisk periodically.
- Allow gastrique to cook down to about half the volume it originally was. Remove from heat, and strain. The sauce should thicken up as it cools, but if it still seems thin you can cheat a bit by putting it back on the stove, and adding a teaspoon of cornstarch mixed with a teaspoon of water to get it to thicken up.
- Once the gastrique and the risotto are fully cooked you’ll want to make the scallops. They only take about five minutes to cook, so just cover the other dishes to allow them to stay warm. In a separate pan heat some butter. I saved some herbs, shallot, and garlic to season the scallops with, and if you’d like to do this too add them in now.
- Once the pan is hot enough, you should hear it sizzle when you put the scallops down, add all of your scallops to the pan on one of the flat sides. You can add drip some of the marinade on top of them as they cook for added flavor.
- Keep a close eye on the scallops as they cook. Once they have a nice sear on the bottom immediately flip them. Once a nice sear is starting to develop on the final side deglaze the pan with a bit of white wine, and lemon juice. Top them with some sea salt and pepper, and then remove from heat.
- Plate your scallops, risotto, and gastrique up nicely with a side salad of undressed micro-greens. For our dishes we brushed on the gastrique, loaded the risotto into a small bowl to shape it, and placed it on the plate. We arranged the scallops neatly around the risotto, and garnished with citrus slices and micro-greens. Enjoy.