Baby Arugula Salad with Warm Shiitake Mushrooms

Who could resist the flavor of warm shiitake mushrooms paired with ripe pears, Parmesan, and truffle oil? Could you? I certainly have no resistance!

The salad is quick to make, but the pears and the mushrooms do have to be prepped just before you’re ready to serve. If you cut the pears ahead of time they’ll turn brown and the mushrooms don’t taste nearly as good when they’re cold.

Gourmet yet simple, this recipe is one of my all-time favorites. It’s a joy for me to share it with you.

See all salad recipes.

Directions

For the vinaigrette:

1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot

1 1/2 tablespoons aged sherry wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon maple syrup or honey

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Place all of the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until well blended. Set aside.

For the salad:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

20 medium-sized shiitake mushrooms, stems trimmed at the base of the cap and left whole

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

5 ounces baby arugula

1 firm Bartlett pear, halved, cored, and cut lengthwise into 1/8-inch-thick slices

Parmesan, shaved, for garnish

4 teaspoons white truffle oil, for garnish

Heat a large heavy-bottomed nonstick frying pan over high heat. Add the butter. Once the butter has melted, add the mushrooms, cap side up, in a single layer and cook until the mushrooms begin to brown, for 2-3 minutes, pressing them down with a fork. Turn the mushrooms over and sauté until golden brown, for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and transfer to a plate.

In a large bowl, gently mix the arugula with two-thirds of the vinaigrette. Divide the salad equally onto the center of 4 large plates, shaping the greens into a rectangular mound. Lay a few pear slices on top of each salad, in a row. Drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette. Place 5 mushrooms on top of the pears, in a row and slightly overlapping. Garnish with a few Parmesan shavings and the truffle oil, finish with freshly ground black pepper, and serve immediately, while the mushrooms are still warm.

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