Monday, April 26, 2010
Mush ado about nothing.
Apologies for bad puns may be in order sometime, but for whatever reason I can't seem to help myself. Anyways, this is a really simple mushroom salad recipe and being a fun guy, I'm just going to toss it out there for anyone who's interested. I, also, wanted a segue way to talk about Ron Mann and his cultishly nerdy documentary films and his interestingly cultivated obsessions, like marijuana and mushrooms, and to say that if you overlook their titles (which stink: like Grass and Know Your Mushrooms) he is another example of a cool, interesting person doing their thing in Toronto. So check him out if you haven't already because he knows what's up with culture. Did I mention he's hilarious and buddies with Woody Harrelson and Jim Jarmusch?
Sauteed Mushrooms on Baby Spinach & Arugula (Rocket)
Mushrooms (for a big 4 to 6 person salad)
1C King Oyster
1/4 Olive oil
2C Baby Spinach, destemmed
3tbsp Balsamic vinegar (buy a good one, that's sweet and tart)
Cracked pepper, to garnish
Start by chopping the larger mushrooms down to the size of the smaller ones, you want everything to have roughly the same shape and thickness, so it cooks evenly throughout. Heat your olive oil in a large skillet over a medium-high flame and just before it hits the smoking point toss in all of your mushrooms, flip the pan to coat the shrooms in oil and then season. Saute the mushrooms for 5 to 10 minutes (the word and tehcnique derives from the French, ‘jumped,’ past participle of sauter). This means your fungus should literally be crackling and jumping out of the hot oil in the pan when you dump them in, not soaking up the grease and getting bogged down in luke warm oil. You'll know the mush mixture is done when the moisture has been cooked out and the exteriors brown.
Serve over a bed of baby spinach and arugula and drizzle with a healthy splash of balsamic vinegar. Top with cracked black pepper and chow down. This is a hardy and amazingly tasty and filling salad and works as a vegetarian main if the servings of mushroom are generous enough.