This is a simple, clean-tasting salad, which is perfect to serve as a light appetizer. I discovered this salad in the city of Bologna, where most of the traditional dishes tend to be quite rich and heavy. I like to make the salad in a shallow bowl, though you may prefer to assemble it on separate plates. Try to use mushrooms that do not have a very strong taste, such as oyster mushrooms or brown caps. Mortadella, a lightly smoked Italian sausage, is a classic Italian ingredient and is usually used either as part of a sandwich or in salads like this one.

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Ingredients

  • 10 oz mushrooms of your choice, cleaned and sliced thin
  • 6 oz mortadella, sliced and cut into long sticks
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • about 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 oz Parmigiano Reggiano shavings
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. For a more elegant and formal occasion, arrange the mushrooms in a single layer on an attractive serving plate and cover with a layer of mortadella.
  2. Mix the lemon juice, mint, and parsley together in a small bowl and add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Add the olive oil and beat thoroughly until the oil thickens. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary, then drizzle the dressing over the salad and sprinkle with the Parmigiano Reggiano shavings.
  4. Alternatively, place the mushrooms, mortadella, and the Parmigiano Reggiano in a shallow bowl and mix together. Pour the dressing over the salad, mix thoroughly, and serve.

Variations

You can use lightly boiled, chilled, then sliced asparagus or raw thinly sliced artichoke hearts instead of the mushrooms, if you prefer.

You can make the same salad using strips of prosciutto cotto instead of the mortadella.

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