I am the only one in my family who loves mushrooms. I have loved them for as long as I can remember. Here is a quick pan roasted mushroom salad that preserves everything I love about mushrooms – a rich, earthy, mushroomy flavor – with a bright burst of lemony kale and fresh herbs for contrast. Finish the salad with a drizzle of heady white truffle oil - my mom just returned from Florence bearing truffle gifts - I simply could not resist. I was happy to enjoy this all to myself! —gingerroot
extra virgin olive oil
anchovy fillets, packed in oil
large garlic clove, sliced paper thin
Pinch of red pepper flakes
shiitake mushrooms, cleaned, stemmed
large portobello, cleaned, stemmed, cut into ½ inch thick slices
kale leaves, thoroughly washed (do not dry), stemmed, leaves torn into 1 to 2-inch pieces (for 3 cups)
lemon wedge (if using Meyer lemon, don’t squeeze all the juice – just about half from the wedge)
Handful of fresh basil leaves or Italian parsley sprigs
Heat olive oil in a 10-inch skillet. When hot, add anchovies, gently breaking them apart with a wooden spoon. Sprinkle a pinch of red pepper flakes and add garlic. Cook until fragrant, moving garlic around so it does not burn.
Pushing garlic slices to the outer edge of the pan, add shiitakes, cap side down. Add Portobello slices. Cook mushrooms for 2 minutes, undisturbed. Turn shiitakes over. Cook Portobello slices for a minute more before flipping. After two more minutes, when mushrooms have released their liquid, transfer mixture to a bowl.
Add torn kale leaves to hot skillet and move around with wooden spoon. Kale pieces should turn bright green and begin to wilt from residual water. If leaves are dry and not wilting, sprinkle with a flick of water from your fingers. Squeeze lemon over leaves, stirring. Leaves will brown a little. This is okay.
Transfer kale to a serving plate. Arrange mushrooms and garlic over leaves. Tear basil (or parsley) over mushrooms. Drizzle with white truffle oil (or walnut oil and sherry vinegar - also lovely!). Enjoy by yourself or share with other mushroom lovers.
My most vivid childhood memories have to do with family and food. As a kid, I had the good fortune of having a mom who always encouraged trying new things, and two grandmothers who invited me into their kitchens at a young age. I enjoy cooking for the joy it brings me - sharing food with loved ones - and as a stress release. I turn to it equally during good times and bad. Now that I have two young children, I try to be conscientious about what we cook and eat. Right about the time I joined food52, I planted my first raised bed garden and joined a CSA; between the two I try to cook as sustainably and organically as I can. Although I'm usually cooking alone, my children are my favorite kitchen companions and I love cooking with them. I hope when they are grown they will look back fondly at our time spent in the kitchen, as they teach their loved ones about food-love.
Best of all, after years on the mainland for college and graduate school, I get to eat and cook and raise my children in my hometown of Honolulu, HI. When I'm not cooking, I am helping others grow their own organic food or teaching schoolchildren about art.