Innovation is fairly easy in vegetarian cuisine. All you really have to do is take a preparation that is traditionally meat-based and substitute something vegetarian in its place.
But the art comes in determining what will work and where. I had an idea for a mushroom ceviche floating around in my head for a while, but I didn't know which mushroom to use. I wanted to stay true to the raw nature of ceviche, but raw mushrooms were, well, unappealing to me to say the least. Then I remembered the mild and crunchy enoki, the perfect match.
Enoki Mushroom Ceviche:
14 oz enoki mushrooms
1 lime (juiced)
1/2 green bell pepper (fine dice)
1/4 white onion (fine dice)
1 tablespoon cilantro (minced)
1/2 avocado (fine dice)
Trim the stem-end off of the mushrooms and discard. Cut mushrooms into one-inch sections and place into a medium mixing bowl. Rinse diced onion under cold water for 30 seconds, and then add it to the mushrooms along with the lime juice, a dash of hot sauce, a squeeze of agave nectar, and a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Allow that mixture to sit for 20 minutes so the flavors marry. Add the diced avocado, the minced cilantro, and a pinch of salt just before serving.
2 ripe plantains
1/4 cup water
Peel plantains and roughly chop the fruit. Place fruit and water into a covered microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 2 minutes or until they become soft. Using the paddle attachment on your stand mixer, mix until stiff dough forms. (You may need to add a touch more water.) Next, divide dough into 8 equal balls. Using a tortilla press lined with wax paper -- or just the paper and a rolling pin -- press each ball into a disk. Fry each plantain tortilla in canola oil over medium heat. Drain on paper towels and salt before serving.
Black bean purée:
1 cup prepared black beans
1 Not-Beef bouillon cube
1 chipotle pepper
Using an immersion blender or food processor, blend all ingredients until (mostly) smooth. Add water to achieve the desired consistency.
To serve, spoon black beans on a plate and top with a plantain tortilla. Top that with a handful of enoki ceviche and garnish with fresh cilantro leaves, sliced avocado, and your star hot sauce.