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Posts Tagged ‘salads’

A major haul in Colorado’s Lizard Head Wilderness. Those are not my hands…I may have eczema, but not man-hands.

Ever since I wrote a report on mushrooms in the fourth grade, I’ve been obsessed with fungi in all its glorious permutations. I spent many childhood hours tromping around after a rainfall, searching for elusive species. Yet, typical of my finicky palate at that age, I refused to even consider actually eating a mushroom. The horror.

Thankfully, things change, and some gluttons are made, not born.  I now enjoy eating wild mushrooms as much as I love foraging for them.

Although this recipe long predates an epic chanterelle harvest I did in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains, it’s still my favorite way to showcase these meaty, woodsy-tasting golden mushrooms.  Hello, autumn.

WARM FINGERLING POTATO & CHANTERELLE SALAD

serves four as a starter

1 tablespoon + 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 lb. fingerling potatoes, parboiled and drained, and cut into 1/2-inch slices

3/4 lb. chanterelle mushrooms, wiped clean and quartered if large, halved if smaller

1 medium shallot, minced

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Parmigiano-Reggiano, for garnish

Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat, then add 1 tablespoon unsalted butter and the olive oil.  When butter is foamy, add chanterelles and cook until golden and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Important: the first few minutes of cooking, the mushrooms will release their liquid- you must keep cooking until the liquid has absorbed and mushrooms begin to brown.

Add remaining half tablespoon butter, and sauté shallots and thyme with chanterelles for 1 minute.  Add potatoes to heat through, being careful not to break them up as you stir. Remove from heat.

Allow salad to cool in large bowl for several minutes, then add Champagne vinegar, more  olive oil, if needed, and salt and pepper to taste.  Garnish with shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano. Serve warm.

©The Sustainable Kitchen 2001®

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Aah, spring. The first tender buds are unfurling on the trees; crocuses and daffodils push their bright heads up through the damp soil. The music of birdsong is audible once again.

Photo love: Flickr user Stellas mom

Despite all that, the weather is still utter shit here in Seattle, and frankly, I’m fucking over it. I’m hearing about spring break (college town, after all), and I’m still wearing my Uggs and pj’s in the house and huddling in a blanket to stay warm (Welcome to the world of self-employment; looking presentable unnecessary).

Needless to say, many farmers in these parts have had a tough winter, what with Snowmageddon and all, so aside from heaps of brassicas, there’s not much inspiration to be had at the farmer’s market.

But at least I can provide you with a recipe that speaks of spring. Not that smoked trout really reminds me of the vernal equinox, but whatevs. I came up with this salad for a cooking demo I did at the San Francisco Ferry Building Farmers Market, based upon what was available from the vendors at this time of year. Hence the smoked trout–not something I’d ordinarily gravitate toward–and watermelon radish. Turns out, it’s a lovely concoction, full of contrasting textures and flavors. Try it; you’ll see.

SMOKED TROUT, GRAPEFRUIT & WATERMELON RADISH SALAD

serves 4

Vinaigrette

2 T. Champagne vinegar

salt, to taste

2 t. finely minced shallot

2 T. lemon juice

1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil, or to taste

5 c. baby arugula or watercress

2 medium pink grapefruit or two medium blood oranges, segmented

one medium watermelon radish, sliced crosswise as thinly as possible

¼ lb. smoked trout (about one fillet), flaked into chunks

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For vinaigrette:  Place the shallot, Champagne vinegar and a pinch salt together in a small bowl and let macerate for at least 10 minutes and up to one hour to mellow the flavor of the shallot.  Add the remaining ingredients, whisking to combine. Adjust seasoning if necessary.

For the salad: When ready to serve, rewhisk the vinaigrette, and place the arugula, citrus segments, and radish in a large bowl. Toss with vinaigrette (note you may not need to use all of it; better to add too little than too much).

Arrange mound of arugula on each of four chilled salad plates, adding several citrus segments and slices of radish. Top with some of the smoked trout.  Season with a twist of freshly ground black pepper.

© The Sustainable Kitchen®, 2004

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I created this recipe for a cooking demo/lecture on sustainable eating I did in the Bay Area. I love the sheep and cow milk cheeses made by Northern California’s Bellwether Farms;  Stracchino di Crescenza is a traditional cow’s milk cheese from Lombardy. Make this simple salad with the last nectarines of the season;. citrus such as blood oranges are nice during the colder months.

NECTARINE, PROSCIUTTO & ARUGULA SALAD WITH BELLWETHER
 CRESCENZA TOASTS

serves four

Four slices of baguette, 1/4-inch thick and cut
on a long bias and brushed lightly with extra virgin olive oil

4 oz. (1/4 lb.)  Bellwether Farms Crescenza cheese (available online and at select cheese shops nationwide; you may substitute chevre, Pont l’Eveque, or blue cheese), placed in a strainer to drain any liquid

Vinaigrette

2 t. finely minced shallot

2 T. good-quality white Balsamic Vinegar (I like the one from Stonehouse) or Champagne Vinegar

Pinch kosher salt

1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil, or to taste, plus extra for brushing on baguette

5 c. arugula

2-3 medium nectarines, ripe but not mushy, cut into 1/4-inch slices

4 oz. prosciutto, sliced paper thin (about eight slices). Tear each slice
into halves or thirds, so you have medium-size pieces that will crumple nicely on the salad.

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Brush baguette slices lightly with olive oil, place on a baking sheet and toast until crisp but not browned.  Alternatively, you may grill them.

The vinaigrette:  Place the shallot, vinegar, and salt together in a small bowl and let macerate for at least 10 minutes and up to one hour to mellow the flavor of the shallot.  Add the olive oil in a slow stream, whisking to combine. Add more vinegar or oil, if necessary. If not using immediately, rewhisk before dressing greens.

When ready to serve, spread each toast with one ounce of Crescenza. Set aside. In a large bowl, toss the arugula with just enough vinaigrette to lightly coat the leaves. Add nectarine slices and gently toss one more time to coat nectarines without bruising them. Adjust seasoning if necessary.

Arrange mound of arugula on each of four salad plates, adding several nectarine slices. Gently crumple and add the prosciutto and place a Crescenza toast on each plate. Serve immediately.

© The Sustainable Kitchen ®, 2009

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