Being small is a terribly challenging predicament in the kitchen, if not for the pleasure of miniature fruits.
This delightful dish has a lot of serendipity and a little bit of whimsy. During one of those fortuitous trips to Whole Foods I passed by a stack of champagne grapes whose petite clusters roused my childish desires. Unbeknownst to me, I could not resist the little darlings, but I needed a little vegetarian inspiration to provoke some culinary action. With very little Google work, I landed on this particular “salad” of sautéed grapes and scallops which I made into a vegetarian side with a king oyster mushroom substitution. I’ve always thought they shared a peculiar similarity in appearance and texture (not quite precise, but uncanny nonetheless). I also added soy sauce to maintain umami and used sherry vinegar in place of lemon juice. The texture is most gratifying when the little bubbles of sweetness explode into a simple and savory coating of soy and sherry.
Inspired by this recipe @bonappetit.com
1 c. sliced king oyster mushrooms (also called king trumpet mushrooms) – or 16 1/2″ slices.
3 TB butter
1 c. champagne grapes
1 TB minced shallots
2 TB olive oil
2 TB soy sauce
2 ts sherry vinegar
1/3 c. toasted sliced almonds
+ Sauté shallots and grapes in olive oil, sherry, and soy for two minutes. Add parsley and toasted almonds. Lower the temperature to keep warm while you cook mushrooms.
+ Melt butter in an iron skillet and sear each side of the mushrooms until brown. You might have to use a lid to partially steam the first side.
+ Serve mushrooms over warm cooked grapes.