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Archive for the ‘Parmigiano-Reggiano’ Category

Another weird one, this time with the pasta pesto and mini chicken apple sausage’s one of my kid’s made for dinner piled on top of a bed of mixed greens. Let’s see if I can do better next week…

anotherweirdone

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I bought a jar of grilled cipolline onions in oil recently, just because they were next to the cocktail onions that were on my grocery list, and I was hungry, and they looked intriguing. The cipolline onions are very tasty, but other than randomly nibbling on them, I haven’t been quite sure how to use them.

While trying to plan a lunch salad, the cipolline onions and a carton of hard boiled eggs caught my eye, and I got an idea. I wanted strong, strong flavors — the intensity of a Nicoise salad, but with a different palette. I pulled out the parmigiano-reggiano, and some vegetables, and got to work. I knew this salad would need some serious crunch to measure up to the soft egg and the slippery onions, so I chose romaine and carrots to diversify the textures.

Cipolline Onion and Egg Ingredients

All the ingredients for two salads.

Ingredients:
(Serves one for lunch.)
1 heart of romaine, chopped.
2 scallions, chopped.
1/2 carrot, quartered lengthwise and chopped.
1/2 orange bell pepper, sliced.
1 hard boiled egg, cut into wedges.
1 fistful of basil, chopped.
1 T – 1/4 cup of fresh grated parmigiano-reggiano, to taste.
Cracked pepper, to taste.

Vinaigrette:
(Use only what you need; refrigerate extra for several days.)
1T red wine vinegar.
2 T extra virgin olive oil.
5 grilled cipolline onions, in oil.
1/4 tsp maple syrup.
Pinch of salt, to taste.

Cipolline Onion and Egg

Two salads, side by side.

I doubled all of the ingredients listed above, and prepared two lunches at the same time — one packed up to go to work with my husband, the other for me to enjoy later in the day. I started by making a nice hearty bed of romaine, and then I chopped up the vegetables and added them. I dusted it all with parmigiano-reggiano and black pepper, and then placed the sliced egg on top. I quickly mixed up my vinaigrette, nestling one jar in my husband’s packed lunch, and leaving the other on the counter for me.

Cipolline Onion and Egg, Eat

Ready to eat!

Verdict:
Powerful flavors. This salad was really delicious. I loved the egg and onion with the parmigiano. The carrot and romaine definitely played a key part. I’m not totally sure about the basil and the orange bell pepper — I think I could’ve omitted both, or maybe just added less of them. I’d like to try this salad again — it was really striking.

Cipolline Onion and Egg, Packed

Packed to go!

Make it a Meal:
Done.

Pack it to Go:
Done. Just keep the dressing separate until you’re ready to eat, then add only as much as you need, fork toss (or put the lid back on and give it a few quick shakes), and enjoy.

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Once upon a time, my husband and I would spend hours hiking through wet forests in search of elusive, fragrant, delicious fungi.

I love wild mushrooms. These days, our hikes don’t take us very far, even when they last for hours, because we walk with people who have short legs and even shorter attention spans. We still try, and our kids are beginning to get as excited as we are about foraging for wild food. I wish I’d made this salad entirely with chanterelles that I’d found in the woods. Someday, I will. This time? I couldn’t resist the chanterelles at the Berkeley Bowl. They weren’t as big and beautiful as those we’ve discovered on our own, but they were right there in front of me, and I went for it. I couldn’t bring myself to buy as many chanterelles as I wanted (it’s so hard to pay a lot for something when you know you could find better for free), so I cheated and added in some button mushrooms.

The kids were having pasta, so this was a side salad for my husband and I, but my plan was for it to be the main dish. The pasta was the real side for the adults enjoying this meal.

Chanterelle Mushrooms with Romaine, Ingredients

Delicious mushrooms, ready for chopping!

Ingredients:
1 large romaine heart, chopped.
1/2 head garlic, coarsely chopped.
4-6 cups of chanterelles and button mushrooms, coarsely chopped.
2 T extra virgin olive oil.
1/2 stick of butter.
3/4 large shallot, finely diced.
Pinch of salt, to taste.
Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, freshly grated over the salad.

Chanterelle Mushrooms with Romaine, Shallots

Chopped shallots, about to be added to the pan with the mushrooms.

Vinaigrette:
(Use only what you need. Refrigerate the remainder for several days.)
1 T red wine vinegar.
2 T extra virgin olive oil.
1/4 large shallot, finely diced.
Pinch of salt, to taste.

I started by chopping my mountain of mushrooms and smashing the garlic. I put the oil and butter in a wide, heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat. I added the garlic, stirred until it was just golden, then added all the mushrooms. While the mushrooms cooked, I chopped the shallot and mixed up my vinaigrette. Once the mushrooms softened and smelled amazing, I added salt and tasted for tenderness. When the texture was just right, I tossed the shallots in and sauteed them until they were translucent. I removed the pan from the heat, and set it aside.

I coated the greens with dressing (very lightly!!!) and served the salad with a mound of mushrooms nestled in the greens, and a dusting of parmigiano reggiano. This dressing has less oil because the greens end up coated with the rich, buttery, sauce from the delicious mushrooms.

Chanterelle Mushrooms with Romaine, Plated

Our mushroom salad, with a side of pasta.

The Verdict:
Yummy. I think I would’ve appreciated more diverse greens — some peppery arugula, a little radicchio, frisee, baby beet greens… You know what I mean. I did like the crunch of the romaine, I just wanted a little more flavor from the greens. I recommend replacing some of the romaine with mixed greens.

Make it a Meal:
I like red meat and wild salmon with chanterelles. It would’ve worked to lay a grilled salmon fillet over the mushrooms, or slice some steak on top. Of course, the mushrooms are rich and buttery enough to be very, very filling all on their own.

Pack it to Go:
The only way I can see that working is if you’ve got your greens in one container, your dressing in a small jar, and your cooked mushrooms in a glass container that you can heat up before tossing it all together. The mushrooms need to be warm, and you’ll destroy the greens if you heat them up. But if you keep it all separate, and combine it when you’re ready to eat, it should work out fine.

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