Mushroom Salad

I love slicing fresh boletus mushrooms (Boletus edulis or cèpes or porcini) tissue thin, covering a large white plate in one layer with the slices, then serving the boletus carpaccio with extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, and lashings of freshly ground white pepper. No lemon or vinegar is needed.

And a drop of champagne vinegar in some mild, yellow extra virgin olive oil is not bad at all when lots of -inch slices of fresh Caesar’s amanita mushrooms are tossed in it.

Alas, most budgets will not allow a dinner party to start off with these amanita, since unlike truffles, a little bit does not go a long way. So we will stick to delicious domestic mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus), though if you see the brown variants known as cremini or portobello mushrooms, they are also delicious in this salad.

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Ingredients

  • 1 pound white button mushrooms, cleaned
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, finely chooped
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2–3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

Method

Slice the mushrooms vertically into 1/16-inch slices.

Put the lemon juice, rosemary, and olive oil in a bowl large enough to hold the mushrooms, and mix together. Add the mushrooms and toss gently, sprinkle with salt, and toss again until the mushrooms are coated with the oil.

Let the mushrooms sit for 5 minutes, then pour the cream over them. Toss again briefly until the cream soaks the mushrooms. Let sit 5 minutes and serve with the chives sprinkled on top and with lots of pepper.

Variation

For a black truffle salad serving four, use 1 large fresh black Perigord truffle (or more), 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, ½ teaspoon sea salt, 1 head of curly endive, 1 tablespoon of hazelnut oil, and freshly ground white pepper. Slice the truffle on a truffle slicer, 1/16-inch thick. Put the slices in a salad bowl with the olive oil and salt. Mix gently and let sit while you prepare the endive. Pull off the outer leaves and discard, saving only the heart of the lettuce that is white and yellow. Wash it in iced water and spin dry. Chop the leaves into 1-inch pieces. Add the endive pieces and the hazelnut oil to the bowl with the truffles, and toss everything together. Grind some pepper over and toss again briefly. Serve.

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