The beauty of wild mushrooms is that they can easily take the starring role in a meal. And while they're earthy and satisfying, they're not heavy. Paired with fresh greens, they seem a great way to transition from winter to spring. When cleaning your mushrooms, simply brush them off, don't rinse in water or they'll taste like soggy sponges and won't get crisp as they're sauteed in butter. Don't be skimpy with the salt and pepper...the salad will taste flat without proper seasoning. (Though this salad holds its own as a light meal, if you crave a bit more, add some pancetta or pair it with a grilled steak.) --KayKay —kaykay
Test Kitchen Notes
I wish I had made this for our Thanksgiving meal! It is the perfect fall salad -- warm, sweet from the vinaigrette and a bit spicy from the Pecorino cheese. And I agree with kaykay – the more cheese the better! I couldn't find escarole -- so used a combination of arugula and mixed greens and it worked perfectly. I also added a touch of maple syrup to my Dijon mustard in place of the sweet mustard. The vinaigrette was fantastic, one that I can see using over and over again on many different salads this winter. - Jennine —The Editors
chantrelle mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
baby bella mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
fresh thyme or lemon thyme leaves, chopped
loosely packed italian parsley, chopped
large shallots, thinly sliced
extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
escarole, arugula or mixed greens
shaved pecorino romano, to taste (I like a lot!)
aged balsamic vinegar
extra virgin olive oil
sweet mustard such as balsamic or champagne maple
Prepare the dressing-- place all the ingredients in a jar. Close jar tightly with a lid and shake to emulsify. Taste test it...it should be well balanced...be sure to add enough salt to balance out the acids.
Toss the mushrooms, thyme, parsley, and shallots together in a large bowl. In a large saute pan, over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil. When butter is melted, spoon 1/3 of the mushroom mixture into the pan and stir to coat. Spread out the mushrooms evenly in the pan. There should be a little space between the mushrooms. If there isn't, remove some of the mushrooms and plan to saute more batches. Resist the temptation to stir the mushrooms nervously. Just let them sit there until they start getting a crisp brown edge, then toss a bit to brown the other side. Season generously with salt and pepper and remove them from the pan into a medium sized bowl. Again, add 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil and add another 1/3 of the mushrooms. Continue process until all the mushrooms are sauteed.
To assemble the salad, place the greens on a serving dish. Top with shaved pecorino romano and pinenuts. Spoon warm mushrooms in the middle. Drizzle salad with dressing.
I love cooking because you don't have to follow rules.
I have dessert after breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
I'd choose cioppino over fettucine alfredo any day.
I love that my 6 and 9 year old daughters are epicurean adventurers and will plow through a huge bowl of mussels, sweat their way through Indian curry, or savor raw sushi.
I can't pick my favorite meal until the end. Then, I will reflect back and choose one that truly stood out after after a lifetime of culinary indulgence.