This Valentine’s Day, skip the roses, chocolate, and expensive 5 course dinners. Stay in and cook a delightful meal with your loved one instead! It’s so much more romantic, and why not try something new? The scallops in this recipe are made using oyster mushrooms, which if you’ve never cooked before… now’s the time! Needless to say, these vegan scallops with spaghetti, crispy kale, and pomegranates will leave you feeling satisfied, but not stuffed.
This calls for 1 cup of dry white wine, which should leave enough in the bottle for two more glasses! You could also wrap up your Valentines Day dinner with a sweet pink dessert, like my strawberry cheesecake bites. Ahhh… love is in the air! Or maybe it’s just the smells of delicious vegan food.
scallops with spaghetti, crispy kale & pomegranates
This flavorful pasta dish with oyster mushroom scallops will make any feast complete!
- 6 king oyster mushrooms
- 3 C hot water
- 1/3 C rice wine vinegar or white wine vinegar
- 340 g brown rice spaghetti
- 3 tbsp olive oil (or use vegan butter for cooking the scallops)
- 1/4 C finely chopped shallot
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 C finely chopped leek
- 1 C dry white wine
- 1 C pasta water (reserved from cooking pasta)
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp ground pepper
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1/4 tsp dried chili peppers
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 C roughly chopped lacinato kale, stems removed
- 1/8 C pomegranate seeds
Preheat your oven to 350°F and start boiling pasta water with 1 teaspoon of sea salt.
Trim the tops and woody bottoms of the king oyster mushrooms, leaving the solid part of the stems. Cut the stems into medallions about 1-inch thick. You can cook the tops of the oyster mushrooms too, but they don’t look like scallops. You could use them in another recipe, like the oyster mushroom po’ boy sandwich! You should be left with approximately 14 medallions.
In a bowl, combine 3 cups of hot water with the vinegar and submerge the mushroom scallops in the mixture for 30 minutes at room temperature. Place a small bowl or plate that fits within the main bowl on top to push the mushrooms into the liquid, ensuring they’re submerged and not floating.
While the mushrooms are marinating, toss roughly chopped kale with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes until crispy but still green. Bake time may vary based on your oven, but watch it closely. Once baked, lower the oven temperature to low or warming, approximately 170°F, and set the kale aside until you’re ready to assemble the whole dish.
Cook the pasta until al dente and reserve 1 cup of water for creating the sauce. Drain the pasta but do not rinse, and let it sit in a colander until the scallops and sauce are done.
Heat a large cast iron skillet or non-stick pan over medium with 1 tablespoon of olive oil or vegan butter. Place the mushroom medallions in the pan and brown on one side for 4 to 6 minutes. Depending on how much moisture your scallops absorbed, this could take longer. Just before you flip them, add 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt and ground black pepper. They should be golden brown on the first side when flipped. Then brown on the other side for 4 to 6 minutes and season with a pinch of salt and pepper again near the end. Remove the scallops from the pan and place in an oven safe plate/dish and place them in the oven to stay warm while you complete the sauce.
Turn the heat on the pan down to medium-low if it’s become quite hot from cooking the scallops. Immediately add another 1 tablespoon of olive oil or vegan butter, and shallots, garlic, and leek. Sauté this for 2 to 3 minutes until fragrant, stirring frequently being sure not to burn the garlic and shallot.
Mix in oregano, basil, and chili peppers, cooking for another 1 to 2 minutes. Add in white wine and pasta water. Bring the heat back up to medium to simmer, stirring frequently for 10 to 12 minutes as the sauce reduces. Add 1/2 teaspoon sea salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper near the end.
Reduce the heat to low and toss the cooked spaghetti noodles in the sauce for 1 to 2 minutes until evenly coated and most of the sauce is absorbed. Transfer the pasta to serving dishes and top with crispy kale, scallops, and pomegranates. Drizzle with a little more olive oil if desired. I used a cast iron skillet to cook everything so rather than plating it on individual serving dishes, I assembled the whole dish in the cast iron skillet.