Warm Mushroom And Arugula Salad

Warm Mushroom and Arugula Salad.

Warm Mushroom and Arugula Salad.

We love to cook here at the farm (in case you couldn’t tell), but life still gets in the way sometimes. We have kids, jobs, community, family, the garden and just every day stuff that needs to get done (and baseball starts soon). And we are certainly not complaining (life is good), it just means we have less time than we would like to cook. That is why we make a point to always have (and look for) quick, easy one-plate dinners that use common ingredients. And this salad is one of those dishes. You can get the ingredients at almost any market, it takes maybe 20-30 minutes to make, it tastes great and sneaks in some veggies.

shroom5shroom6And it shouldn’t be a surprise that this recipe is adapted from Ina Garten’s “Barefoot in Paris” cookbook. Ina’s recipes tend to use common, fresh ingredients and subs simple preparations over complex technique. And while purists may howl at times (don’t purists howl about everything?), her recipes do work. And as an ex-caterer, Garten’s recipes tend to require less extra time and prep than most. With that in mind, if we want to adapt a basic dish, Garten’s recipes are often where we start. And with this dish of warm sautéed cremini mushrooms and dressing over a bed of arugula and prosciutto, garnished with parmesan, sun-dried tomatoes and parsley, we didn’t have to change all that much. The whole dish is one big “umami-bomb”, what’s not to like? (Unless you are a vegetarian, then just sub caramelized shallots or onion for the prosciutto).

shroom7shroom8But we do make a few significant changes to the recipe that, we think, improve the dish. Firstly, Ina tells you not to wash the mushrooms, but brush them clean instead, so they don’t absorb water. While many “old-school” chefs will tell you to brush, many current food-science oriented cooks like Alton Bron and Harold McGee have run many experiments showing that you can, and should, wash mushrooms. They just don’t soak up that much water and what they soak up will cook out. Save yourself 20 minutes of mind-numbing, ineffective brushing and wash those mushrooms. Secondly, Ina has you cook the mushrooms for just a few minutes, but to really get the golden brown, meaty flavor and texture out of the mushrooms you need to sauté them longer, more like 10-15 minutes. Take your time with the mushrooms and you will be rewarded, besides you have the 20 extra minutes you saved by washing the mushrooms. ;-)

shroom9shroom11As for assembling the dish, this is as easy as it gets. Rinse and dry some arugula (you could sub baby spinach), place it on the plates and drape over a few slices of prosciutto. Cut some slivers of parmesan cheese and dice a few tablespoons of sun-dried tomatoes. Rinse and dry a few leaves of Italian parsley. Meanwhile, as you finish sautéing the mushrooms, add some sherry or cider vinegar to make a warm dressing. Taste the dressing and adjust vinegar and seasoning and then spoon the mushrooms and dressing over the greens. Garnish with the parm, sun-dried tomatoes and parsley. Season one last time, if you like, and serve. It really is that easy. And this dish really is that good.

shroom4Warm Mushroom and Arugula Salad

(Adapted from Ina Garten)

Notes Before You Start:

  • If you choose to wash the mushrooms, and you should, just rinse them under lukewarm water and lightly scrub off any dirt. Then just give the mushroom a squeeze to get some water out and drain on a kitchen towel.
  • The recipe suggests sherry vinegar, which has a sweeter profile than some vinegars. If you want a little more bite and brightness, use cider vinegar or add a dash of lemon juice to the final dish.

What You Get: A very easy, very flavorful one-plate meal.

What You Need: No special equipment required.

How Long? 20-30 minutes. “Anytime” dish.

Ingredients:

(Serves 4 as a lunch of light dinner, 6 as a side).

  • 1 pound brown or “cremini” mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, more to taste
  • 4 bunches fresh arugula (fills a medium-to-large salad bowl), washed and dried
  • 8-12 slices of prosciutto (or Serrano ham)
  • 2 tablespoons of sherry vinegar (sub cider vinegar)
  • Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes in oil
  • Italian parsley
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon, optional

Assemble:

  1. Cut the stems from the mushrooms and wash them. Then slice the mushrooms into 1/2 to 1/2 inch slices. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the butter, half of the oil, the mushrooms, salt and pepper. Saute until mushrooms are golden brown, 10-15 minutes.
  2. While the mushrooms cook, arrange the arugula on serving plates and layer over slices of the prosciutto. Shave slices from the parmesan, dice the sun-dried tomatoes and rinse off and dry a few dozen parsley leaves. Set garnishes aside.
  3. When the mushrooms are done, add the remaining olive oil and the vinegar to the pan, stir until combined and a dressing forms. Taste and adjust vinegar and seasoning. Add a squeeze of lemon juice, if you like.
  4. Spoon the mushrooms and dressing over the arugula and prosciutto on the plates. Garnish with the parmesan, sun-dried tomatoes and parsley. Check and adjust seasoning. Serve.
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33 thoughts on “Warm Mushroom And Arugula Salad

  1. Thanks for the tip on Barefoot in Paris. Sounds like I need to check it out!

    The salad looks great, too, and I’m always on the lookout for more simple weeknight meals to add to my arsenal. I’d just do away with the proscuitto and add more shaved parmesan!

    • Exactly. You can easily sub cheese and/or caramelized onion or shallots. You just want something with a sweet and salt mix of flavors…

      The cookbook is pretty good. A traditionally trained chef would hate some of the recipe adaptations, but many work really well and save hours of time.

  2. Yum this is a beautiful salad! Arugula, sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, prosciutto and parmesan – delicious!!!
    I have made your baked cauliflower so many times – they are fantastic! I serve them with homemade Harrissa sauce and it’s fantastic! Thank you for all your great recipes!
    Happy weekend!

  3. Nice combination of flavors — and I completely agree on washing the mushrooms as well as cooking them for a longer time. If you cook the mushrooms for a short time, cook in batches over higher heat. It is possible to get good mushrooms that way, but it takes about the same time as cooking them all together at a slightly lower temp.

    • Thanks- and we also will cook our mushrooms in batches, if we have al lot of mushroom and/or small pans. We just happen to have a huge skillet for things like mushrooms and spinach (so we can use one pan and feed the kids a bit faster).

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