Chef Richard Landau skips the creepy packaged vegan bacon in favor of king oyster mushrooms, also known as king trumpets or royal trumpets. These have a firm, meaty texture and flavor that can mimic bacon on a BLT. While the texture of king oysters is unique, other thinly sliced wild mushrooms, like shiitake, would also be tasty on this sandwich.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 pound king oyster mushrooms (see Note), trimmed and very thinly sliced
Freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise
2 tablespoons finely shredded basil, plus more for garnish
4 slices of country bread, lightly toasted
4 small romaine lettuce leaves, whole or shredded
1 large red tomato, thinly sliced
How to Make It
In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil until shimmering. Add half of the mushroom slices in a single layer and cook, turning once, until golden, about 6 minutes. Drain the mushrooms on paper towels and season them with salt and pepper. Repeat with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and mushrooms.
In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise with the 2 tablespoons of shredded basil and season with salt and pepper. Spread 1 tablespoon of the basil mayonnaise on each slice of bread and top with lettuce. Arrange the sliced tomato on the lettuce, followed by the mushrooms. Sprinkle the sandwiches with salt and pepper and garnish with basil. Serve the sandwiches open-face or close the sandwiches and serve.
King oyster mushrooms are available at farmers’ markets and specialty shops.
Light reds like those from Beaujolais in France are terrific with the fresh tomatoes and earthy mushrooms in these sandwiches.
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