Califonia Bountiful
Main Dish

Mushroom sandwich with spring mix

Earthy mushrooms complement spring mix in this recipe.

Executive Chef Chris Vacca
California Market at Pacific's Edge, Carmel

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Cashew spread
2 cups raw cashews
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp. kosher salt
Pepper, to taste

Sautéed mushroom filling
1 cup sliced oyster mushrooms
1 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms
1 cup sliced maitake mushrooms (see note)
Vegetable oil
Juice of 1 orange
3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small shallot, julienned
1 sprig thyme
Salt and pepper, to taste

2 soft brioche rolls, sliced
Softened butter
1 to 2 tbsp. olive oil
2 cups spring mix
6 slices tomato
Red onion, cut into rings


For cashew spread: Soak cashews in water for 4 to 8 hours. Drain, reserving some of the liquid. Place cashews in a high-speed blender with lemon juice and salt. Blend until smooth, adding reserved water so it's not too thick, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Place spread in a covered container and let it rest at room temperature for 4 to 6 hours or until it reaches an acid level that's somewhere between ricotta and goat cheese. (Smoked option: Smoke the cashew spread by placing in a heatproof container in a smoker with apple wood for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.) Makes enough spread for 6 to 8 sandwiches. Leftover spread, which can be stored up to a week in the refrigerator, can be used as a savory topping on pita chips, bagel or toast.

For mushroom filling: Keep mushroom varieties separated as you clean and slice them. Heat a nonstick pan to smoking hot. Add oil, then place mushrooms, one variety at a time, evenly in the pan so they sear but don't steam. Once halfway cooked, remove from pan and repeat with next type of mushroom. Mix all cooked mushrooms together and set aside.

In a bowl, mix together orange juice, vinegar and garlic. Using the pan that was used to cook the mushrooms, heat oil and add shallots until slightly cooked. Add mushrooms and deglaze with orange juice mixture and thyme. Remove thyme sprig and season mixture to taste with salt and pepper.

To assemble: Lightly butter the cut sides of the bottom rolls. Heat oil in a pan and toast on medium heat for 30 seconds. Spread the cut sides of the top rolls with cashew mixture. Begin building the sandwich with spring mix, then tomatoes and mushrooms. Top with onion rings.

Note: Look for maitake mushrooms at an Asian grocery store. They can be substituted with other Asian mushroom varieties.

Serves 2

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