Golden Slices of Pompon Blanc on Mixed Greens

Preparation info

  • Serves

    4

    as a first course
    • Difficulty

      Easy

Appears in

Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini

By Elizabeth Schneider

Published 2001

  • About

Pompon Blanc or other cultivated bear’s head mushrooms must be cooked quickly at a high temperature or they become soggy. Oven-seared slices look like sautéed chicken, taste like juicy tofu, and make an unusual opener. Or, for a vegetarian meal, omit the greens and serve as main-course “cutlets” for two accompanied by bright, crunchy vegetables, such as sugar snap peas and carrots.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Big pinch of white pepper
  • Optional: 1 garlic clove, halved
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¾ to 1 pound small cultivated Hericium
  • 3 cups cleaned baby tatsoi or mizuna leaves (about 3 ounces)
  • 1 Belgian endive, trimmed and cut into ¼-inch slices
  • Fleur de sel or other crisp sea salt

    Method

    1. Set oven to 475°F. Combine lemon juice, pepper, optional garlic, and oil.
    2. Gently cut mushrooms into ½- to ¾-inch slices. Lay on baking sheet.
    3. Whisk dressing. Reserve 1½ tablespoons. Brush half the remainder on the slices. Turn and brush the other sides and edges to coat.
    4. Bake until underside of mushrooms is golden, about 5 minutes. Sometimes the top will brown too. If not, flip gently with spatula and bake until browned underneath. Timing varies, but do not overcook: The interior will be tender when both sides are golden.
    5. Meanwhile, toss greens with reserved dressing. Arrange on four plates. Set hot mushrooms on salad and sprinkle generously with crisp salt. Serve at once.