King Trumpet Schnitzel with Mixed Herb Pesto

King trumpet mushrooms get the schnitzel treatment in this recipe, and a bright, herb-packed pesto complements the crispy, juicy mushrooms.

fried mushrooms
Total Time:
40 mins

This trumpet mushroom version of schnitzel, from photographer Andrea Gentl's cookbook, Cooking with Mushrooms: A Fungi Lover's Guide to the World's Most Versatile, Flavorful, Health-Boosting Ingredients, is destined to become a favorite if you are a fan of any fried cutlet. Double-breading the mushrooms creates a crispy crust that stays crunchy even as the mushrooms cook and release moisture. Black pepper and turmeric add a savory, bitter flavor to complement the mushroom's earthiness while fragrant Meyer lemon juice and nutty pecorino cheese amp up the herb-packed pesto. Use a rolling pin to gently flatten the mushrooms; using a mallet can cause the mushrooms to break.


Mushroom Schnitzel

  • 5 large fresh king trumpet mushrooms (about 1 pound), trimmed and cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick slices

  • 4 cups panko, divided

  • 4 ½ teaspoons ground turmeric, divided

  • 2 teaspoons Himalayan pink salt, divided

  • 7 large eggs

  • ½ teaspoons black pepper, divided

  • 2 ½ cups neutral cooking oil (such as safflower oil)

Mixed Herb Pesto

  • 4 cups packed mixed fresh herb leaves (such as basil, oregano, mint, and parsley)

  • 3 medium garlic cloves, smashed

  • ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 4 ounces pecorino cheese or Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)

  • 1 tablespoon grated Meyer lemon zest plus 2 tablespoons fresh Meyer lemon juice (from 2 lemons)

  • ¼ teaspoon crumbled dried chile de árbol

  • ¼ teaspoon Himalayan pink salt, plus more to taste

Additional Ingredients

  • Flaky sea salt, for garnish

  • Meyer lemon wedges, for serving


Make the mushroom schnitzel:

  1. Preheat oven to 200°F. Using a rolling pin, gently roll mushroom caps to flatten to same thickness as stems.

  2. Combine 2 cups panko, 2 1/4 teaspoons turmeric, and 1 teaspoon pink salt in a wide, shallow bowl, and toss to combine. Whisk together 3 eggs and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a separate wide, shallow bowl.

  3. Working with 1 mushroom slice at a time, dip into egg mixture, letting excess drip off; dip into panko mixture, turning to coat completely. Place coated mushrooms on a wire rack.

  4. Stir together remaining 2 cups panko, remaining 2 1/4 teaspoons turmeric, and remaining 1 teaspoon pink salt in a third wide, shallow bowl. Stir together remaining 4 eggs and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a fourth wide, shallow bowl. Dip breaded mushroom slices into egg mixture, letting excess drip off; dip into panko mixture, turning to coat completely. Set aside on wire rack until ready to fry.

  5. Place a heatproof wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet. Heat neutral oil in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium until shimmering but not smoking. Working in 3 batches, fry mushrooms until golden, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to wire rack; place in preheated oven to keep warm.

Make the mixed herb pesto:

  1. Pulse herbs and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped, about 10 pulses. With processor running, pour olive oil through food chute, processing until just combined, about 10 seconds. Add cheese, and pulse until just combined, about 3 pulses. (Do not overprocess.)

  2. Transfer herb mixture to a medium bowl; stir in lemon zest and juice, chile, and pink salt. Season with additional pink salt to taste.

  3. Transfer mushroom schnitzel to a platter, and garnish with flaky sea salt. Serve with lemon wedges and mixed herb pesto.


Excerpted with permission from Cooking with Mushrooms by Andrea Gentl. Artisan Books © 2022

Make Ahead

Mixed herb pesto can be made up to 8 hours in advance. Drizzle 2 teaspoons oil over the pesto, press plastic wrap directly onto the surface, and refrigerate until ready to use.

Suggested Pairing

Full-bodied Rhône-style white: Joey Tensley Fundamental White

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