A salad of fresh garden greens topped with hot mushrooms and a warm tomato dressing is a simple French-style recipe, and makes for a good lunch or light meal.
The marinated milkcap mushroom preserves I talked about in this post are fine out of the jar, but even better warmed up and put on a plate with something. I love a good salad, and my nasturtiums have been in full swing, so whatever I made, I knew they'd be going in there.
A great variation on a simple cold salad is a sort of lunch-type dish I'll make on occasion where something warm is placed on the greens-sauteed mushrooms are common.
I use shrimp here, but scallops, or even something like good canned crab, gently warmed up in some butter would be great too. You could also use pieces of chicken or poultry, preferably hunks of chicken thigh, roasted in a hot pan to crisp the skin, then rested and chopped into bite-sized morsels and mixed with the greens, along with any juice they give off.
The greens wilt a bit as you eat them, but keep a bit of crunch and life. It's good for a light meal, or when it's hot outside. Serve it with a cold glass of rose and a crust of good bread to mop up the juices of the marinated mushrooms.
I'm just going to outline a method here without proportions as it's very simple. Use whatever you have on hand and make it your own. For each person, assume four 16/20 per-pound sized shrimp. For the greens, I used nasturtiums, verdolagas / purslane, and arugula, but feel free to use your favorite fresh salad greens.
Nasturtium, Arugula, and Purslane Salad with Milkcaps and Shrimp
- 1 8 inch saute pan
- 1 recipe marinated milkcap mushrooms or use other mushrooms
- 4 16/20 shrimp per person or 10/20 scallops, chicken can also be substituted
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- Fresh greens from the garden and wild spaces in between, washed, and dried well-I used purslane, arugula, and variegated nasturtium leaves
- Fresh green onions to taste, optional
- Cooking oil for searing the shrimp
- Extra virgin olive oil for finishing
- Fresh lemon wedges optional
- Warm the marinated mushrooms and get them hot, but make sure they don't evaporate too much juice, which will function as the salad dressing.
- Meanwhile, Heat some oil in a pan, such as cast iron, large enough to accommodate the number of shrimp or scallops you'll be searing.
- It is absolutely crucial the crustaceans not touch while searing, unless you like your shrimp stewed. While the oil is heating, arrange the shrimp on a platter and season with salt and pepper, then, when the oil is lightly smoking, sear the shrimp deeply on one side, then flip and turn off the heat while you assemble the salad.
- Mound the salad on room temperature plates, spoon some of the still hot mushrooms and their juice over the top, and finish by placing a few shrimp on each plate. Drizzle each plate with a little olive oil, then serve at once with the lemon wedges, and a little crusty sourdough to soak up the juices.
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