As vegetarians (okay, Tom is pescatarian) ourselves, we’re always thrilled to see plentiful vegetarian and vegan options when we venture out to eat. We’ve seen a steady increase, even just over the last year, in delicious dishes at restaurants downtown. We were so happy to see that [farmacy] and Birch Bark Eatery have partnered with Glens Falls Vegan and Advokate to present Roots - a vegan food festival this Sunday!
Vegan, vegetarian or not, we’re confident that Roots will provide some awesome inspiration to change things up, even if just a smidge, because every little bit helps - the animals, the planet, your health, you name it.
And speaking of inspiration, we’re psyched to share a couple of recipes this week to get you in the spirit, starting with one today from [farmacy]! Chef Jes is sharing her Mushroom Carpaccio, and after sneaking a taste at the restaurant the other night, we’re definitely going to try this one at home - so good!
Tell us about the recipe!
The mushroom carpaccio is an interpretation of a common Italian dish. I like to take familiar recipes and replace the meat element with vegetables manipulated in a way that is resemblant of a similar texture. Good quality mushrooms from our friends at Little City Mushrooms makes that task pretty easy, and absurdly delicious.
What You’ll Need
1lb oyster mushrooms (phoenix and blues work very well)
1/8 cup light brown sugar
2 tbsp kosher salt
2 tbsp red pepper flakes
1 tbsp fresh ground black pepper
1 cup roasted onion oil
Mix all ingredients thoroughly in bowl to create the cure.
Spread half of cure on baking sheet.
Lay mushrooms separately on top of baking sheet.
Spread rest of cure on parchment paper evenly and lay (cure side down) on top of mushrooms.
Place another baking sheet of equal size on top of mushrooms and put something heavy on top of the baking sheet. Make sure the weight is evenly distributed.
Refrigerate for 6 hours. Then....it’s done!
At [farmacy] we serve it with pickled shallots, lemon-pepper cured radishes, shiso, and warm crostini. But any variety and assortment of pickled vegetables, olives, and other accoutrements would be great as well. It’s a very versatile dish.
It seems like you always have delicious vegan options on the menu. Why is it important to you to keep these in regular rotation? What has the reaction been from guests?
Vegan dishes are an important inclusion on a menu because of the wide variety of the dietary preferences of folks. We like everyone to be included in the fun! Including vegan dishes is important to me personally because for a long time I chose to adhere to the vegan/vegetarian lifestyle. So I understand the importance to other people and, more largely, the impact it has on the environment and well being of creatures that hang out with us on this earth. The reaction from our guests, with our ever-evolving menu and growing plant-based options, has been outstanding! Even folks that enjoy a nice steak are thrilled by something they can enjoy that’s not so meat protein forward. Just this evening a gentleman came in for his third round of our “vegan carrot dogs” this week, and he’s not even vegan!!!
Where do you get your inspiration for your vegan dishes?
I draw my inspiration from everywhere.... fellow chefs, places I’ve been, my vast collection of cookbooks (just added was the Salvador Dali cookbook which was a gift from my amazing sister, and Dominique Crenn’s cookbook from Atelier Crenn, which was a beautiful gift for my birthday), and even cocktail books from places like Death & Co. But mostly ideas spark from a random thought I have at a weird part of the day while trailing off into some other thought destination. And I have to stop myself and say “WAIT! What the hell do I do with that and how do I translate it into something that makes any kind of sense?!” Not stifling the craziness is responsible for the beauty of the creative aspect in this whole journey.