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Mushroom Lentil Croquettes with Asparagus, Shiitake Bacon and Mint Pistachio Pesto by Ann Ziata

Mushroom Lentil Croquettes

Makes 4 servings



1 cup French lentils (also known as beluga or puy lentils), rinsed and drained

4 cups water

2 sprigs thyme

4 shiitake stems


  1. In a medium pot, bring lentils, water, thyme, and shiitake stems to a boil. Lower heat and gently simmer, partially covered, until lentils are tender.

  2. Drain lentils; reserve stock for croquette recipe.


Makes 4 Servings


3-4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided

8 oz cremini mushrooms , sliced

¼ cup lentil stock

1 small onion, finely diced

½ small carrot, peeled and grated

1 celery rib, finely diced

½ tsp sea salt

Pinch black pepper

2 cups cooked lentils (from recipe above)

½ cup cornmeal, oat flour, or gluten-free bread crumbs


  1. For croquettes, preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Warm 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Arrange mushrooms in an even layer and cook until glossy and caramelized. Deglaze with lentil stock and transfer to a bowl. (Cook in batches if pan is too small).

  3. Add another 1 Tbsp of olive oil to pan, along with onion, carrot, celery, sea salt, and pepper. Saute over medium heat until onion is translucent, about 7 minutes.

  4. In a food processor, pulse vegetables and mushrooms. Add lentils and cornmeal; pulse until lentils are halfway broken down, not completely pureed. You want a mixture that’s solid enough to hold its shape. (If it’s undermixed, croquettes will be crumbly. If overmixed, the croquettes will be mushy. This can be fixed by adding additional cornmeal.)

  5. Shape into tablespoon-sized croquettes. Arrange on prepared baking sheet, flattening each slightly with the bottom of a moistened drinking glass. Lightly brush with remaining olive oil and bake until golden, about 15 minutes.

Caramelized Asparagus with Shiitake “Bacon”

Makes 4 servings


8 ounces raw shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps sliced thinly (save stems for stock)

1 Tbsp olive oil

Pinch smoked sea salt (or sea salt plus a pinch of smoked paprika)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed

Pinch sea salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. To make shiitake bacon, toss the shiitakes with olive oil and salt. Arrange on prepared baking sheet in an even layer, and roast for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until crispy.

  3. Warm olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Arrange asparagus in an even layer and cook until golden, shaking the pan every so often to ensure even browning.

  4. Remove from heat and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. (If asparagus is thick, continue cooking on low heat, covered, until tender crisp, for about 1 minute.)

  5. When shiitakes are ready, sprinkle over asparagus and serve.

Mint Pistachio Pesto

Makes 1 cup


5 ounces fresh mint, stemmed

Pinch sea salt

½ cup shelled lightly-salted Wonderful Pistachios

1 garlic clove

2 teaspoons umeboshi paste (optional)

2 teaspoons white miso

½ cup extra virgin olive oil


  1. In a small pot, bring 2 cups of water to boil. Add mint and pinch of salt. Blanch mint 2-3 seconds. Using a colander, drain mint and rinse with cold water until cooled. Squeeze out excess moisture and set aside.

  2. In a food processor, puree pistachios, garlic, mint, umeboshi paste, and miso. While motor is running, slowly add oil and puree until well combined.

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