Sunday, January 8, 2012

Fall Fresh-Market Mushroom Salad [Zack]

Antwerp has an open air market every Saturday in the center of the city.  It’s immensely popular with the locals - they do some food shopping and have fresh oysters with champagne before noon :).  Can’t hate on that.  I love wandering around, looking at each of the food booths and imagining fun things to cook/eat.  In the late fall, mushroom purveyors are prevalent and I decided to make a chicken and mushroom salad as a fresh lunch.

I always like asking opinions of experts – and in this case the woman in the booth was extremely helpful.  I explained that I wanted to make a fast and fresh salad, and she let me sample a bunch of different types of mushrooms and made great suggestions.  I ended up using chanterelles, pink oyster mushrooms, and some unknown mushroom that she brought from below the table.  Feel free to use any combination of mushrooms that you have available to you, just make sure they are fresh and delicious!


Start by making your mise en place.  

Grab a cup and put some very hot water into it.  Submerge your sun-dried tomatoes and let them stand for about 20 minutes to re-hydrate.

Wash the mushrooms to clear off the dirt.  Some people suggest using a mushroom brush, but if you are sautéing them in a frying pan, I don’t see the need to take the extra time.  Slice them until they are nicely-sized bites.  Mince the shallots and slice the sun-dried tomatoes (when they have hydrated enough).  Start 2 pans on your stove on medium heat.

You will use the first pan for sautéing the mushrooms.  Put 1 T olive oil and 1 T butter into the pan and let it melt.  Add your shallots and sliced sun-dried tomatoes into the pan and cook for about 4 minutes.  

Once that is cooked, add in your chanterelle and pink oyster mushrooms and let them cook down and eventually get some color.

While your mushrooms are going, sprinkle your chicken breast with salt and pepper and put in the pan with a small bit of olive oil.  Feel free to pound out the chicken breast so it isn’t tough.  Cook, turning once until it is cooked through.  

Let rest for 5-10 minutes while you finish the rest of your salad.

Knock out a quick salad dressing – my favorite method is to make it in a glass jar with a nice snug lid.  Add all of the ingredients at once and shake until emulsified.

Dice your fresh mushroom that you are going to add to the top.  This is optional.  Slice your rested chicken breast diagonally.  

Dress your salad and then add the chicken, cooked mushrooms, and the fresh mushroom on top.  Garnish with some fresh parsley on top if you'd like.  Enjoy eating healthfully!

1 chicken breast (preferably organic and free range - it tastes better I swear!)
1 cup sliced pink oyster mushrooms
1 cup sliced chanterelles
1/3 cup fresh white mushrooms, sliced
6 sun-dried tomatoes
1 small onion or 2 shallots
1 head of lettuce
optional 1 T of minced parsley for garnish

Salad Dressing:½ c. apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1-2 cloves finely minced garlic
2-3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
1 ¼ c. olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1-2 tablespoons heavy cream, optional

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