Seamus Mullen is one of the most outspoken voices in favor of healthy food within the celebrity chef world. His latest book, Real Food Heals, is a follow-up to 2012’s Hero Food, which seeks to teach home cooks how to make the most nutritionally dense food while leaving out the stuff that slows you down. Mullen continues to chronicle his journey to healthful living through delicious food. This cremini carpaccio is an extra-fresh new way to enjoy mushrooms.
Eating whole mushrooms raw is a little intense, but shave them carpaccio-style and they’re so, so good. Creminis smell and taste like the forest to me, so I serve them with other forest-y flavors—pine nuts, thyme, and truffle. I finish the combination with Idiazábal cheese, a hard cow’s-milk variety from Spain, for its nutty notes. If you can’t find Idiazábal, Gruyère tastes great, too.
- 1 ounce cremini mushrooms
- 1 lemon
- fleur de sel
- Espelette pepper
- 1 tablespoon buttered pine nuts
- 2 tablespoons Brown Butter and Pine Nut Vinaigrette
- 1 black truffle
- 1/2 ounce Idiazábal cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, preferably lemon thyme
Brown Butter and Pine Nut Vinaigrette (makes about 2/3 cup)
- 8 tablespoons grass-fed unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon pine nuts
- 1 garlic clove, grated on a microplane
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/4 cup Moscatel or white balsamic vinegar
- juice of 1 lemon
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the nuts and vinaigrette
Put the butter in a small skillet and set it over medium heat. Cook, stirring and scraping the pan often, until the milk solids separate and the butter smells and looks nutty brown. Skim off and discard any foamy milk solids that have risen to the top and reduce the heat to low. Add the pine nuts and gently toast the nuts to infuse the butter with their flavor. Once the nuts are light golden, strain the butter through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl. Add the garlic and whisk well.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the honey, vinegar, and lemon juice. While whisking, add the butter mixture in a steady stream and whisk until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper.
For the carpaccio
Slice the cremini mushrooms as thinly as possible on a mandoline and arrange on a serving plate. Zest the lemon directly on top, then squeeze the juice from half the lemon all over. Sprinkle with fleur de sel and Espelette. Scatter the pine nuts on top.
Drizzle the vinaigrette all over. If you have a black truffle, grate a light dusting on top with a Microplane. Use the Microplane to grate the cheese over all. Sprinkle with the thyme leaves and serve immediately.