Wild Mushroom and Greens Salad

Yesterday was farmers’ market day and tonight was pot luck night.  I volunteered to make “something green.”  Pretty easy when there’s beautiful swiss chard and shiitakes at the market and lovely arugula at a friend’s house.  I should also mention that yesterday was a yard sale day and I picked up for 50 cents the amazing 1000 page Gourmet Today cookbook edited by Ruth Reichl, retail price $40 – score!  I was reading it last night – yes, I read my cookbooks – and came across this lovely side salad.  You can also find it on epicurious.com.  It’s well worth a look.

The recipe calls for only arugula, but I bought two big bunches of swiss chard so I needed to work some in.  I cut out the stems and sliced the chard into ribbons to make it fine enough to eat raw.  I also substituted white wine vinegar for champagne vinegar and finely chopped sweet onions for shallots, both because that’s what I had in the house.  I used a combination of shiitake, portabello, crimini and oyster mushrooms.  I sauteed them instead of grilling because it was easier.  And believe it or not I completely forgot to add the parmesan.  That’s not like me at all – any excuse to eat cheese – but I was trying to get out the door to pot luck and just forgot.  You know, this was really good without the cheese.

There aren’t a lot of ingredients and there’s not a lot of cooking so this is an easy one.  Swiss chard is a little bit tough when it’s raw so I added a little dressing to the greens right before I left home, maybe 3 tablespoons.  That allowed the dressing to wilt the greens just a little.  When I got to our hostess’ house I added the still warm mushrooms and another 1/4 C of the dressing. I covered the whole bowl in plastic wrap and let the greens wilt for another 20 minutes or so before we started dinner.

That’s all there is to it.  Chop some greens and mushrooms.  Saute the mushrooms.  Make the dressing.  Toss.  Wait.  Serve.  Yum!  This dish is fresh and green and earthy and bright and virtually fat free.  The only fat is the olive oil in the dressing and I only used half the dressing for the entire bowl of greens and mushrooms.  It’s vegetarian.  Without the cheese it’s vegan.  By any measure it’s a lovely and sophisticated side dish.  I’m always looking for new ways to serve swiss chard and other greens.  This is a keeper!

Good? Very.
Easy? You bet.
Good for company? It was a hit at potluck.
Special shopping? As with any very simple dish, quality ingredients count.

Wild Mushroom and Greens Salad

Ingredients

1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1-1 1/2 T honey
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped sweet onion
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 pound whole fresh portabella mushrooms, stems discarded, sliced
1/2 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded, sliced
1/2 pound fresh cremini mushrooms, trimmed, sliced
1/2 pound fresh oyster mushrooms, trimmed, sliced
2 C baby arugula, or regular arugula torn into bite-size pieces
1 large bunch swiss chard, stemmed and sliced into ribbons
2/3 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano shavings (made with a vegetable peeler from a 2-oz piece) (optional)

Directions

Whisk together vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper, and shallots in a large bowl. Add oil in a slow stream, whisking constantly until combined. Transfer mushrooms to another bowl with a slotted spoon, discarding marinade.

Heat lightly oiled heavy skillet. Add 1/2 mixed mushrooms. Saute until mushrooms are soft. Remove from the pan and set aside. Repeat with remaining mushrooms. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Put greens in a large bowl. Toss in 3-4 T of dressing. Let sit 10 minutes. Toss in warm mushrooms. Add 1/4 C of dressing. Let sit another 10 minutes. Serve at room temperature. Top with cheese if desired.

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