Lion’s mane mushrooms are known for having what we are told is a “crab-like” texture and taste. Paired here with tender, steamed green beans in a savory risotto, the mushrooms take center stage. Alongside the risotto, we prepared golden brown, pan-seared tofu which was marinated in lemon juice, chardonnay (why not use Frey Vineyards’ delectable chard – it’s organic and sulfite-free) and olive oil, then seasoned with herbes de provence and lemon zest.
Tofu de Provence with Lion’s Mane Mushroom & Green Bean Risotto
First, get your risotto stock going. Combine 1.5 bouillon cubes (we use Rapunzel’s vegan, unsalted variety) and 6 cups water in a large pot over high heat. Drain tofu, wrap in paper towels and press under a heavy object for 10 mins, flip over and repeat. Prepare tofu marinade and dry mix at this time. When tofu is finishing being pressed, slice in half longways and begin to marinate, flipping occasionally.
1/2 C chardonnay
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 t olive oil
3/4 C unbleached flour
1/2 t salt
1/2 t fresh ground pepper
1 T herbes d’ provence
1/2 t lemon zest
Now, begin preparing the risotto. Here’s what you’ll need, in addition to your stock:
1 C arborio rice
2 shallots, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 T olive oil
1/3 C chardonnay
Combine shallots, garlic and olive oil in a deep, nonstick pan. Saute over medium heat until shallots are soft, then add 1/3 C chardonnay and saute until reduced. At this time, slowly add rice, stirring to coat. Next, add 1 C of your risotto stock. Stir to combine and simmer, stirring regularly, until liquid is absorbed. You’ll repeat this with the rest of your stock (5-6 more times).
While risotto is cooking, begin preparing your other veggies. Combine 1 C chopped lion’s mane mushrooms with 1 T olive oil, 1/2 t salt and fresh ground pepper to taste and saute until tender. Add a splash of tamari and remove from heat.
Place 1/2 C chopped green beans in a steamer basket and steam until fork tender (I placed the steamer basket over my simmering risotto stock to save space). Remove from heat and set aside.
Remove tofu from marinade and slice into 8 large triangle pieces. Dredge each piece in the dry mix, making sure to coat evenly and shaking to remove excess flour. Heat a thin layer of olive oil on a nonstick skillet (~1 T). Add tofu filets and saute over med-low heat until golden brown on each side.
When you’re down to about a cup of your risotto stock, add reserved mushrooms and green beans, and stir well to combine. Simmer, stirring often, until liquid is absorbed and risotto is nice and creamy. Plate with tofu and garnish with fresh thyme. Then watch ‘em pass out when you say, oh by the way, you just ate tofu and loved it.
Recipe Courtesy of Chef Alex Cobb; a self-taught vegan chef, avid tea drinker, writer, and musician living in Cincinnati, OH. Alex can be found posting recipes/reviews on the newly minted Grass Console site, via Twitter, or in the kitchen making seitan and listening to European space disco records.