Thanksgiving for a vegan is the worst nightmare. Turkey, meat filled stuffing and gravy, and milky mashed potatoes are all not something we enjoy diving into. And I personally also do not enjoy any fake turkey meat alternatives that want to make it seem like it's totally normal to chew on something unidentifiable, and still name it after the animal we don't want to be eating in the first place.
Whenever I used to host Thanksgiving, I would completely focus on making unique appetizers, then filling the table with gorgeous veggies like this fall harvest kale salad, my favorite maple balsamic glazed Brussels sprouts, and creamy garlic sage butternut squash mash. Everyone could enjoy them because they are vegan, gluten-free, allergy friendly, and most of all super delicious for all meat eaters, too!
Today, I have another recipe that is going to be a huge hit at your Thanksgiving table - or really any other day. The roasted mushrooms are juicy and really satisfying. Add the special pesto made with peppery arugula and sweet-ish pistachios, and you have a flavor bomb you won't be able to get enough of! And the best thing is that you don't need a lot of hands on time for this recipe. It can just cook on the side while you focus on the main attraction - the turkey.
Preparation time: 45 minutes
Makes 20 mushrooms:
20 button medium sized mushrooms, preferably all a similar size
For the pesto:
1 garlic clove
1/3 cup pistachios
1/2 cup arugula leaves
1/2 cup fresh Italian basil leaves
1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp sea salt
2/3 cups extra virgin olive oil
Start by pre-heating the oven to 175°C/ 350°F, and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Clean your mushrooms by using a small brush, and brushing off any dirt. You don't want to rinse them under water too long, they will get mushy.
Take out the stems, freeze these for making vegetable broth later. Keep the heads, and place them with the hole side up on the baking tray. Place in oven for 20 minutes.
In the meantime, make the pesto. Throw the nuts and garlic in a food processor, and process for 15 seconds until crumbly, almost paste-like.
Add the arugula, basil, lemon juice, and salt, and process again to break down the leaves - about 20 seconds.
If you can, pour the olive oil in while the blades are running. If your food processor does not allow this, just dump in the oil, and process for 2 minutes until creamy.
Pull out the mushrooms after the 20 minutes, and place one teaspoon of pesto in each mushroom.
Return to oven for another 10 minutes.
You can garnish the mushroom with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and some extra arugula or basil leaves.