Not gonna lie, I’m pretty proud of this dish. Because it’s insanely good. Last month Joe and I went up to Burlington for the day to visit the city for the first time, and at the end we went out to an awesome dinner. My omnivorous boyfriend ordered Mussels in Cider Broth with Bacon and Aoili, which he loved. So of course I thought, how can I make this healthier?! So a few weeks later when we got home I set about to recreate this dish. I thought this dish was going to be super hard. Umm, basically it’s the easiest thing I’ve ever made, and still looks really gourmet. The real test though is the boyfriend… and he went back for second and then thirds. (So did I! Shocking, right?)
Now the mushrooms in this are certainly tasty (when are mushrooms not?), but the absolute best part is sopping up the thyme cider broth with a crusty piece of bread mixing in the aioli. Zomg. It was amazing. So amazing that when we ran out of mushrooms I made more broth just to eat with bread. (Let’s just say within 24 hours the loaf and bottle of cider were gone)
As is the recipe serves two as an appetizer – double it if you’d like to make it a full, hearty dinner. We opted for my kale and cabbage salad and a bit of wine for a light, late dinner. (Which was pretty perfect and kind romantic in my opinion.) Actually, I just have a soft spot for this time of year. As I write there is fresh fallen snow on the ground and soon (12 days, not that I’m counting) Joe and I are going up to Vermont for a few weeks of skiing, fire places and home cooked yumminess. Eeee!! So excited!
I know that this dinner is going to be in frequent rotation around here, not just because it was super yummy, but because it was super easy. If you quick soak the cashews this can be done in about 30-35 minutes. (Which is a lot faster than the non-vegan counter part, that’s for sure!!) I hope you enjoy this meal,and the Holiday season!
- 2 cups chopped Oyster or Shitake Mushrooms
- 4 cups Apple Cider
- 1 tablespoon Thyme
- Pinch of Salt
- 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened Coconut
- 1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
- 1 tablespoon Liquid Smoke
- 1 tablespoon Maple Syrup
- 1/2 cup raw Cashews
- 1/4 cup Olive Oil
- 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
- 2 cloves of Garlic
- Several slices crusty bread
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- If not soaking cashews overnight, place in very hot water for 20 minutes
- Fill a medium pot with cider and thyme and place a strainer on top. Place mushrooms in strainer and sprinkle with salt. Heat on medium heat, covered.
- Mix coconut, soy sauce, maple syrup and liquid smoke in a bowl and toss until thoroughly coated. Strain liquid out and place on baking sheet in oven for 20 minutes, until coconut is light brown and crispy.
- In a blender, mix cashews, olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic and blend until smooth.
- Place half of cider broth in a bowl and fill with half of mushrooms, and top with half of coconut bacon and aoili. Serve warm with bread.