This recipe is courtesy of our friend Olivia at Liv In The Kitchen, a Minnesota food blog dedicated to flavorful, easy recipes supporting a healthy lifestyle.
Hericium erinaceus, or, more commonly known as lion’s mane, lend themselves in a very versatile manner allowing you to get creative with vegan “meaty” creations or simply let them shine on their own. They have a fun shaggy texture and when growing resemble the mane of a lion – hence the name! In this recipe, they’re featured as mushroom "bacon" full of caramelized flavor and color.
Lion’s Mane Mushroom "BLT" Sandwich
Makes 2 open faced BLTs
1/2# R&R Cultivation lion’s mane mushrooms
Vegan butter or oil
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder
1 1/2 tablespoons tamari
1 teaspoon maple syrup
Tomatoes, sliced and salted
Arugula (or your favorite greens)
Sliced and toasted bread
For serving: olive oil and flaky sea salt
Prep all of your ingredients for easy sandwich assembly. Gently slice your lion’s mane mushrooms into thick planks, about half an inch thick. Slice your garden fresh tomatoes with a serrated knife and salt on both sides. Set on a plate lined with paper towels to capture excess moisture. Slice and toast bread of your choosing – for this recipe I used a boule of a local bakery’s sourdough.
Once the above ingredients have been prepped, mix together your lion’s mane bacon marinade. In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, stir together your pepper, smoked paprika, chipotle powder, tamari and maple syrup and set aside.
Set a non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add a heavy glug of neutral oil or a knob of vegan butter (or regular if you are not cooking vegan). Just before it begins to smoke, add your sliced lion’s mane in one layer without overcrowding the pan. You may need to do this in two batches to ensure even, golden crustiness on each mushroom.
Cook on one side for 3-4 minutes, or until golden brown. Flip each mushroom slice over, add a little more oil or butter and sear for another 2-3 minutes until a rich caramelized color appears on both sides of the lion’s mane.
Turn the heat to low and add your bacon marinade. Deglaze the pan with this liquid, scrapping with a rubber heat-safe spatula or wooden spoon to remove any browned bits at the bottom of the pan. Once a majority of the liquid has been absorbed, about 2 minutes, remove the pan from the heat.
Assemble your BLT sandwich. Take a slice of bread, apply as much vegan mayonnaise to your choosing, sprinkle with salt and pepper, add a layer of arugula, followed by a generous amount of lion’s mane bacon, and top with a few slices of seasoned tomatoes. Drizzle some good quality olive oil and flakes of sea salt on top and enjoy!