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.
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.
© 2008 Valentina Harris. All rights reserved.