Insalata Di Funghi Misti
Lucia Piccini, the very talented young chef at the Hotel Abbazia's restaurant, Alla Corte, generously shared her recipe for mushroom salad with me. I ate it on the first night of a week-long stay in the Veneto in November a few years ago. I was looking forward to infinite amounts of the renowned Italian mushrooms and truffles that are on everyone s menu in the fall. Luckily for me, Lucia's salad was the first one I ate, because the next day I ordered a mushroom salad in a little restaurant near Padova and became ill from it. When I told Lucia what happened, she said that even though raw mushroom salads are everywhere—and really tasty—she always gives the funghi a quick sauté' before serving them. "Mushrooms are quite porous, and you never know who's touched them," she said. I've made this salad with cultivated mushrooms. If wild mushrooms are available at your local market, however, by all means use them.
1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
1/4cup olive oil
2 pounds assorted mushrooms such as cremini,
portobello, or shiitake, dusted off and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup, coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
6 cups mixed salad greens
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1. In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the shallots in the 1/4 cup olive oil until translucent, about 90 seconds. Increase heat to high and add the mushrooms. Sauté for about 30 seconds, stirring with a wooden spoon. Remove from heat and put in a large bowl.
2. Add the lemon juice, parsley, salt, and pepper. Toss to thoroughly combine. Dress the greens with the oil and vinegar. Serve surrounded with the croutons.
Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F. Cut a baguette into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Brush the entire surface of a baking sheet with a bit of corn oil. Place the bread slices on the sheet. Brush each slice with a bit of corn oil. Bake until the slices are golden, about 10 minutes.
Authentic Italian Salads for All Seasons
By Susan Simon
Chronicle Books, June 2001
132 pages, full-color photographs throughout
Recipe reprinted by permission.
This page created September 2001
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