This salad, from chef David Pasternack of Esca in New York, calls for only mushrooms and cheese. But in springtime, Jane Black likes to add grilled asparagus. (You could also add leftover grilled chicken or steak.)
His delicious vinaigrette is also great on a simple green salad. Make the whole amount (3/4 cup) and refrigerate it, to use as needed within 5 days.
- For the vinaigrette
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Juice of 1 to 2 medium lemons (about 1/4 cup)
- 2 ounces finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- For the salad
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 4 ounces porcini or cremini mushrooms (or a combination), stemmed and cut into thick slices
- Juice of 1/2 a medium lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 6 thin asparagus spears, tough ends trimmed
- 2 ounces mache (about 4 cups; may substitute baby spinach or arugula)
- 2 ounces goat cheese
For the vinaigrette: Place the oil in a small bowl. Whisk in the lemon juice and cheese; season with the salt and pepper.
For the salad: Position the top oven rack 4 to 5 inches from the broiler element; preheat the broiler.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a medium saute pan or skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and do not move or shake the pan for 2 minutes; that will allow them to take on some color. Cook for about 7 minutes total, turning them so they brown on all sides. Transfer the mushrooms to a bowl and squeeze the lemon juice over them. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
Meanwhile, place the asparagus on a baking sheet or dish and drizzle with oil and a sprinkle of sea salt. Broil for 6 to 7 minutes, turning once or twice. Transfer to a cutting board to cool, then cut into 2-inch pieces
Toss the mushrooms with 1 to 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette in a small bowl.
In a separate medium bowl, toss the mache with 1 tablespoon of the vinaigrette.
To serve, place the greens on a large plate. Top with the mushrooms and asparagus; crumble the goat cheese on top. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste.
Adapted from "The Young Man & the Sea," by David Pasternack and Ed Levine (Artisan, 2007).
Tested by Jane Black.
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