Baked Mushrooms with Basil Pesto

Tender, savory mushrooms with fragrant basil pesto and fresh salmon roe make for a nature-inspired dish that’s simple, yet flavor-rich, an elegant addition to the table. (Image:  Hsuyi Shih/Taste of Life)
Tender, savory mushrooms with fragrant basil pesto and fresh salmon roe make for a nature-inspired dish that’s simple, yet flavor-rich, an elegant addition to the table. (Image: Hsuyi Shih/Taste of Life)

The earthy, flavorful mushroom plays an important role in both Western and Chinese cuisines. With thousands of varieties to choose from, the white St. George’s mushroom (Calocybe gambosa) is one of the most popular. Its thick caps are hearty and tender, and can be fried, stir-fried, boiled, or baked, infusing any combination of ingredients with a savory richness.

 CC BY 2.0 )

St. George’s mushroom (Calocybe gambosa) is one of the most popular. (Image: Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0)

We place the humble fungus in the spotlight in this East-meets-West recipe. Scented with fragrant basil, rosemary, and mint, these refreshing bites get an unexpected twist with pickled salmon roe and the crunch of nuts for multi-dimensional texture.

Ingredients (serves 2):

  • 3 cups (300 g) mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp (20 g) pickled salmon roe
  • 2 tbsp (15 g) chopped roasted nuts, such as almonds

Basil Pesto:

  • ½ cup (5 g) fresh rosemary
  • ½ cup (5 g) fresh basil leaves
  • ½ cup (5g) fresh mint leaves
  • 2 tsp (8 g) pine nuts
  • 1 tbsp (15 g) olive oil
  • ½ tsp (3 g) salt

Directions:

  1. Stir-fry the pine nuts, being careful not to burn them. Rinse the rosemary, basil, and mint leaves. Combine the herbs and pine nuts in a blender with olive oil and salt, and blend until smooth.
  2. Rinse the mushrooms and remove the stems. Preheat the oven to 270°F. Place the mushrooms in an oven-safe dish and bake for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove mushrooms from oven and top with the pesto. Transfer to serving dish and sprinkle with nuts and pickled salmon roe.

Tips:

Small amounts of pesto may be difficult to blend using a food processor or blender. You can use a mortar instead. If you want to freeze your pesto, rinse and dry the herbs well: Without added moisture, it will stay fresh longer in the freezer.

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