Originally a San Francisco seafood stew with a tomato fennel broth, cioppino has become a popular dish over the last few years. I recently discovered it and decided to create my own compassionate version of this dish featuring roasted oyster and trumpet mushrooms with a scattering of split green peas and a little torn nori to give the stew a coastal flavor. It has a lot of ingredients, but don’t let that fool you. It’s incredibly easy to make and it’s an absolutely captivating dish.
3 king trumpet mushrooms, sliced into 1/2″ thick medallions
3 cups of oyster mushrooms, chopped into very large pieces
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1/4 teaspoon of salt
12 vine ripe tomatoes
8 cloves of garlic
1 cup of pinot grigio
1 cup of water
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
1 teaspoon of dried thyme
1 teaspoon of dried basil
1/2 teaspoon of celery seed
1 white onion, diced
1/2 of a small bulb of fennel, sliced thin
1 teaspoon of olive oil
4 bay leaves
3/4 teaspoon of crushed red chile flakes
3/4 cup of split green peas
Prep Notes: Slice the trumpet mushrooms before you start anything else. While the mushrooms and tomatoes are roasting, slice the onion and fennel.
“I usually line a pan with parchment paper and spread the tomatoes out to expose as much surface area as possible. It makes for easy cleanup and allows the tomatoes to properly blister.”
Toss the mushrooms with olive oil and salt and place them in a baking dish. Place the tomatoes on a separate pan or dish. Oven roast the mushrooms and tomatoes at 425°F for 25 minutes. Set the mushrooms aside.
“If you want to go the extra mile with this recipe, you can roast the mushrooms over an open flame instead of in the oven. More time and more effort, but also more awesome.”
Puree the tomatoes with the garlic, pinot grigio, water, salt, oregano, thyme, basil, and celery seed and set it aside.
“Experiment with different wines to achieve very different cioppionos.”
Saute the onion over just above a medium heat in a pot until it lightly browns, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the fennel and saute this for 3 to 4 more minutes. Add the tomato broth, bay leaves, and crushed red chile flakes and bring it to a simmer. Add the roasted mushrooms and the split peas. Return the stew to a simmer, cover the pot, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook the stew for 20 minutes and serve.
“Serve this with a slice of crusty sourdough bread for the ultimate cioppino experience.”
Give It a Mexican Twist
Roast the mushrooms with mojo de ajo instead of olive oil and add 1 crushed ancho chile (about 2 to 3 tablespoons of ancho chile flakes) to the broth once it has been blended.
Make It Low-fat and Low Sodium
Making it low-sodium is easy because you can simply omit the salt in all portions of the recipe. To make this low-fat, place the mushrooms on parchment paper just like you do with the tomatoes. This will ensure that they brown properly. Simply omit the oil in this part of the recipe. When you saute the onion and fennel, do this over a medium-high heat in a completely dry pot and reduce the cook time to 7 to 8 minutes.
Make It Simple Options
If you follow all these, it cuts the cook time down to 30 minutes
- Instead of roasting all those tomatoes, use a 28 ounce can of crushed fire roasted tomatoes.
- Instead of roasting the mushrooms, add the mushrooms in with the fennel and saute them along with the fennel for about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Instead of using all the herbs and spices, you can use 1 tablespoon of Old Bay Seasoning.
- The Ultimate Cheat: Don’t worry about sauteing the onions and fennel. Just puree the broth ingredients, then throw everything into the pot and cook it for 20 minutes just like you do at the end of the recipe.