Warmed Mushroom Salad
Ya’ll were in a mushroom mood last week! It won the poll in an avalanche!
These days you can get most mushrooms during most times of the year, but there’s something special about a warming mushroom dish when the heat breaks and it’s clearly a crisp, cool fall.
If those days aren’t there for you yet, they are close! Hang tight, pull out the sweaters, and stock up on delicious ‘shrooms for this Warm Mushroom Salad!
1) Chop rough stems off spinach and roughly chop. Also, thinly chop radicchio. Add both to a salad spinner and rinse well. Then spin to dry. Set aside for later.
2) In a large skillet, add a small drizzle of oil and chopped bacon over medium heat. After the fat starts to render out of the bacon, add chopped shallot and cook for 3-4 minutes until bacon starts to crisp up.
3) Add mushrooms to the skillet along with 1/4 cup water to help the mushrooms break down. Cook until mushrooms lose their liquid, 4-5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of dried rosemary.
4) Take the mushrooms off the heat and stir in white wine vinegar, olive oil, and sugar.
5) Divide spinach and radicchio between plates and drizzle with warm mushroom mixture. Serve immediately!
Warm Mushroom Salad
Warmed salads, where you heat the dressing with some topping in a skillet, are some of my favorite side dishes. With maybe a big hunk of bread, I can easily make a meal out of this Warm Mushroom Salad.
The key to it working is to use really sturdy greens so they don’t completely fall apart after they get hit with some heat from the dressing.
I like to use adult spinach and radicchio. If you use the baby spinach, it’ll just wilt into pieces. The adult stuff works great though. Just chop off any tough stems and take it for a spin in a salad spinner. Spinach is notoriously hard to wash.
As far as mushrooms go, feel free to experiment but stay away from the white button version. They don’t have much flavor. I used a mix of oyster, shiitake, and cremini mushrooms. You want 3-4 cups of chopped mushrooms since they will cook down substantially.
A little bacon goes a long way in this dish. No need to over-do it but a few strips will crisp up nicely and really make the salad.
Of course, you can leave it out if you want to make this vegetarian.
Once the bacon has started to render out some of the fat over medium heat, add the chopped shallot. Cook that for a minute and then add all the mushrooms and about 1/4 cup of water. The water will evaporate almost immediately but will help to start breaking down the mushrooms.
When the mushrooms have lost most of their liquid and are soft, season the mixture well with salt, pepper, and dried rosemary.
Then turn the heat off on the skillet and add the vinegar and oil. Stir it like crazy to emulsify the oil a bit. This is a very delicious mixture.
While you could just dump this skillet in a big bowl with the greens, I actually recommend plating it individually so each plate gets a good topping of mushrooms and you can spoon the sauce over each salad.
Plus, it’s just prettier that way!
There you have it! Easy, fresh, and warming.
Grab some mushrooms this weekend and welcome fall with open arms and warm mushroom salad!