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Balsamic-Glazed Oyster Mushrooms with Garlic and Thyme on Caramelized Parsnip Purée with Toasted Pistachios

Serves 4


    This dish is a plant-based showstopper, with tender mushrooms in a sweet-and-sour glaze soaking into ultra-thick roasted parsnip purée. The parsnip is extra savoury and sweet thanks to a quick dunk in a pot with baking soda, whose alkaline nature makes for a stronger Maillard reaction, a.k.a. more caramelization when the parsnips are roasted. 


    Balsamic swap

    Pomegranate molasses or Turkish or Iranian grape molasses are excellent replacements for balsamic vinegar and don’t need to be reduced before using.


    Balsamic-Glazed Oyster Mushrooms with Garlic and Thyme on Caramelized Parsnip Purée with Toasted Pistachios


      Caramelized parsnip purée
      • 8 cups (2 L) water
      • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) baking soda
      • 2 lbs (900 g) parsnips, peeled and chopped into 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces
      • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
      • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
      • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) cane sugar
      • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
      • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) black pepper
      Oyster mushrooms
      • 3/4 cup (180 mL) balsamic vinegar, or 6 Tbsp (90 mL) aged balsamic or balsamic glaze
      • 1 tsp (5 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
      • 14 oz (400 g) oyster mushrooms, cleaned and, if necessary, trimmed so they grill flat
      • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
      • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) black pepper
      • 1/4 cup (60 mL) finely chopped green onion
      • 2 thyme sprigs, stripped from stem, or 1/2 tsp (2 mL) dried
      • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) toasted pistachios, roughly chopped
      • 1/2 cup (125 mL) finely chopped chives, parsley, or green onion, to garnish


      Per serving:

      • calories317
      • protein8 g
      • total fat8 g
        • sat. fat1 g
      • total carbohydrates57 g
        • sugars17 g
        • fibre12 g
      • sodium663 mg



      For parsnip purée, preheat oven to 400 F (200 C).


      In medium saucepan, bring water, baking soda, and parsnips to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes. Drain parsnips, but don’t rinse. Set aside until cool enough to handle, about 3 minutes.


      In large bowl, combine parsnips with remaining ingredients for purée. Spread on baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes. Turn and roast for 10 minutes more, or until tender and caramelized. Transfer to large bowl and mash with potato masher or immersion blender, or transfer to food processor and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings.


      For oyster mushrooms, in medium saucepan, boil balsamic vinegar until reduced by half, about 10 minutes. If using aged balsamic vinegar or glaze, skip this step.


      In large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. When hot, add mushrooms, salt, and pepper and cook for 1 minute. Flip mushrooms and add balsamic reduction, 1/4 cup (60 mL) green onions, and thyme and stir to coat mushrooms. Lower heat to medium-low; cover and cook for 5 minutes, or until mushrooms are tender, adding 1 Tbsp (15 mL) water to prevent sticking, if necessary. Taste and adjust seasoning.


      To serve, spread parsnip purée on bottom of large platter. Place mushrooms on top. Top with toasted pistachios and garnish with chopped chives, parsley, or green onion.



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