Sesame Crusted Portobello with Simple Courgetti

Thai portobello

Our first Sunday brunch of vegan lent was not missing anything from our usual meals. Tahini has such a thick consistency and flavour that an almost creaminess was added to the sauce. This, combined with the juiciness of the Portobello mushrooms was such a nice blend; so rich, moist and surprisingly filling, packed with textures, spices and depth – the perfect way to start our Sunday.
This doesn’t have to be a dish solely for brunch though; it would make a great lunch, or even a fairly decadent starter for a dinner party filled with ravenous guests. We love how the dish tastes and looks, as though it is filled with a hundred components, all intricately crafted together, but it really isn’t. It’s simple and quick and will take you about 20 minutes to prep and cook. Enjoy!

You will need… (Serves two):

For the mushrooms:

  • 2 portobello mushrooms
  • ½ red onion, finely chopped
  • 6 cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed and finely chopped
  • Half a chilli
  • 1 teaspoon of ginger powder (or fresh ginger if you would prefer)
  • Half a teaspoon of cumin powder
  • A small handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped
  • Sesame seeds
  • A drizzle of sesame oil

For the courgetti with tahini drizzle:

  • 1 courgette, spiralized
  • A handful of babyleaf salad
  • 1/2 medium to large red onion, cut into thin strips
  • A handful of peanuts, crushed and toasted
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons of tahini
  • 1 Tablespoon of miso paste
  • a generous splash or two of water
  • The juice of half a lemon

This is an easy dish that takes hardly anytime at all to knock up, yet the results are delicious.
First turn your oven onto 180 degrees celcius and start by prepping your mushrooms, since these take the longest. Cut the stems off each and chop finely, along with half a red onion, 2 cloves of garlic and half of the chilli. Mix together in a bowl, adding salt, pepper, cumin, ginger and coriander. Of course, as always, please feel free to add any other spices and herbs you like – we tend to use a mixture of what we have lying around, and the cumin you can take or leave if you prefer to use it solely for Indian dishes (it’s probably my favourite spice, so I usually sneak it into any dish if I can)!
Once all the spices are mixed in, split the mixture in half and put half on top of each Portobello mushroom. Squish it down if you need, to prevent it falling out, sprinkle on a generous amount of sesame seeds onto each and drizzle over some sesame oil. Place onto a baking tray with your 6 cherry tomatoes and place into the oven for around 8-10 minutes.

Whilst these are cooking, spiralize your courgette, skin on, and place in a medium-large mixing bowl. Add the other half of the red onion, which you cut into strips, one clove of finely chopped garlic, a handful of babyleaf spinach and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Set aside whilst you turn a pan onto low-medium heat and throw in your crushed peanuts to toast, then whip up your miso-tahini dressing. This really is a staple of ours – if ever in doubt, make a tahini sauce of some kind, and your dish will instantly be lifted; no salad will ever be just a salad, no vegetable dish will ever be just a vegetable dish!
In a cup, glass, mug, small bowl…whatever vessel you choose, put in your tahini, miso paste, the juice of half a lemon, a splash of water, your last finely chopped garlic clove and a pinch of salt & pepper, then mix well with a fork, until it is at a consistency that you are happy with. We like ours more runny than paste-like, but trust yourself and give it a taste and see if you think it needs anything else – more lemon never goes amiss!

Take you peanuts off the heat and into a bowl, then using the same pan, tip in your courgetti mix and put it back on the heat for 2-3 minutes, until the mixture has wilted and warmed up slightly. When you do so, flick your oven setting to grill so that your mushrooms grill for the last few minutes so that the top goes as crispy as possible!

Once your courgetti mixture has heated through, take it off and pour it back into the mixing bowl, drizzle over your tahini dressing and your crushed peanuts, mix well, then split onto two separate plates. Now take your mushrooms and tomatoes out the oven (the top should be slightly golden and crispy from the sesame seeds and the mushrooms should have reduced slightly) and place each mushroom on top of your courgetti, and 3 tomatoes on each plate.

Thai courgetti

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