Sea scallops are a tender treat that many enjoy, but if you’re following a plant based diet you have to turn to other means to enjoy ocean foods. Enter seaweed. Kombu is a form of kelp that is rich in nutrients and packed with umami flavors. It makes a great base for soup stock and lends a rich and complex flavor. Here it’s an interesting addition to pesto and give more of an oceany flavor to the mushroom “scallops.” Also served with this unusual sauce are nasturtium leaves and flowers. This common edible flower has a slightly spicy flavor that marries well with the creamy nuts and complex kombu!
Oyster Mushroom Scallops With Nasturtium Pesto [Vegan]
For the pesto:
- 1/2 ounces kombu, rehydrated 15 minutes
- 1 cup raw walnuts
- 1-2 clove garlic
- 4 cups arugula
- 1 cup nasturtium leaf (optional: use basil if you don’t have nasturtium)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt (this recipe used smoked sea salt)
- 1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 3/4 cup olive oil
For the scallops:
- 8 large king oyster mushrooms, stems cut into 1-inch thick slices (you can also use large white button mushrooms cut into a scallop shape)
- 2 Tablespoons coconut oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup nasturtium leaves
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges
For the pesto:
- Soak the kombu for 15 mins. You should have one sheet about 3-inches wide and 7-inches long.
- After it’s been soaked, remove from the water and set the water aside.
- Cut the kombu into pieces, about 1-inch square and save until ready to use.
- Add the walnuts, garlic, arugula, nasturtium, sea salt, nutritional yeast, lemon zest and juice to a food processor. Slowly adding the olive oil, process until smooth. You will have chunks of kombu, but that’s ok!
- Process for about 5 mins. Add water if you like a thinner pesto.
For the mushroom “scallops:”
- Cut the mushroom stems into 1-inch long pieces. Save the tops to eat later, or cut them into rounds as well.
- Heat the oil in a non stick pan and put the mushroom pieces cut side down. Cook on medium heat for 2-3 minutes until browned.
- Turn scallops to the other side and cook another 2-3 minutes.
- Season liberally with salt and pepper.
- Remove from the heat and serve immediately.
- Spread some of the pesto on each plate.
- Arrange the scallops and garnish with nasturtium leaf and lemon.