Here is the recipe featuring a warm mushroom dressing and goat cheese, over mixed greens. It can be fancy, served as a starter for a dinner party, or it can be a casual everyday dish by using less special (meaning less expensive) ingredients. I will give you both versions of the recipe so you can fancy it up or not. Both are really tasty.
Yield: 4 appetizer servings, but can easily be multiplied to serve more
Ingredients for the Fancy Version: (see below for less expensive substitutions)
- A variety of mushrooms of your choice, chopped into bite sized pieces, approximately 4 mushrooms per serving, depending on size. We used Baby Oyster, Cremini, and Shiitake. Portabellos are also nice.
- Mixed greens and Arugula leaves tossed together, about 3 cups combined
- Minced garlic, 2 small cloves .... It gets cooked in the dressing which mellows it out a lot, but if you don't care for garlic, omit or reduce it.
- Goat Cheese (aka Chevre).
- Olive oil, 1/3 to 1/2 cup (about 2 tablespoons per serving)
- Balsamic Vinegar, approximately 1/4 cup (about 1 tablespoon per serving)
- Sea salt, 1/8 teaspoon or to taste
- Dijon Mustard, 1/2 teaspoon (depending on saltiness of mustard. Some Dijon is quite salty so taste before adding)
- Chopped fresh rosemary, about 1 tablespoon
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
Replacements for the more casual version: If there isn't a replacement mentioned below, use ingredients as above.
Use white button mushrooms, romaine lettuce, replace goat cheese with cubes of feta, replace Balsamic vinegar with red wine vinegar, but reduce the amount as it is more acidic, use everyday salt, omit rosemary (but don't replace with dried/powdered), replace pine nuts with toasted almonds or walnuts.
Toast nuts in a dry frying pan until golden and fragrant, shaking the pan frequently. Remove from pan.
Add olive oil to hot pan and sauté mushrooms and garlic for about 2 minutes. Add the salt (notice how the salt suddenly causes the hot mushrooms to release their juices, which become part of the dressing.) Add vinegar, rosemary and mustard. Cook for about 2 more minutes.
If you're not ready to serve the salad yet, this mixture can sit for a little while and be gently reheated when needed. If it dries out add a bit of water.
To serve: Line individual plates with salad greens, add one blob of cheese or break it up into pieces and sprinkle over greens. Add warm mushrooms and the liquid. Top with pine nuts.