Ixta Belfrage's Crispy Oyster Mushroom Skewers with Crushed Chickpeas

There is a hierarchy of mushrooms, in my opinion, and oyster mushrooms are right at the very top, along with porcini. If you’re not already familiar with the wonders of pan-fried or roasted oyster mushrooms, you’re in for a treat, because this unassuming mushroom transforms into a crispy, succulent version of itself when high heat is applied. These skewers aren’t meant to look or taste like meat, and yet ...

Make ahead: The chilli oil will keep in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.

Notes: Soak wooden skewers in water for 20 minutes before use, so they don’t burn.I use jarred chickpeas here as they are soft and perfectly seasoned. You can use tinned or home-cooked chickpeas, but you’ll need to adjust the seasoning.

Serves 2 as a main

This recipe was extracted from 'Mezcla: Recipes To Excite' by Ixta Belfrage (published by Ebury Press; photography by Yuki Sugiura)


Ingredients Serves: 2

  • 400g oyster mushrooms
  • 6 x 22cm metal or wooden skewers (see notes below)

For the chilli oil

  • 100g olive oil
  • 80g rose harissa (or 50g regular harissa, plus 2 tablespoons olive oil)
  • 1½ teaspoons Urfa chilli flakes
  • 1 teaspoon caster sugar
  • ½ teaspoon fine salt

For the crushed chickpeas

  • 300g jarred chickpeas (drained weight)
  • 1 small clove of garlic, finely grated/crushed
  • 80g Greek-style yoghurt, plus 20g to serve (use coconut yoghurt to keep this vegan)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

For the salsa verde

  • 5g fresh coriander, finely chopped
  • 10g fresh chives, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • flaked salt

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C fan/240°C.
  2. For the chilli oil, whisk all the ingredients together and set aside.
  3. Tear any larger mushrooms in half and keep the small ones whole. Put them into a large bowl with the chilli oil. Mix well – the mushrooms should be completely coated with the oil.
  4. Line a flat baking tray with parchment paper. Thread the mushrooms on to the skewers and arrange them on the tray, spaced apart. Roast for 16–18 minutes, basting halfway, until the edges of the mushrooms are crisp and golden-brown.
  5. While the mushrooms are roasting, put all the ingredients for the crushed chickpeas into a large bowl and roughly crush with a potato masher (or pulse in a food processor). Add salt to taste – you’ll need more if your chickpeas weren’t salted to start with. I like the contrast between room-temperature chickpeas and hot mushrooms, but you can warm up the chickpeas if you prefer.
  6. When you’re ready to serve, mix all the ingredients for the salsa together with a good pinch of flaked salt.
  7. Spread the chickpeas on a platter, then swirl through the remaining 20g of yoghurt. Top with the skewers and the chilli oil from the tray. Spoon over the salsa verde and serve.
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