Adapted from Nobu 57, New York City
Last week was so full of peaks and valleys, I felt like I was on a raft in white water rapids, holding on for dear life. On the upside, our eldest son turned sixteen. Our youngest had a breakthrough in his quest to learn to read. A project I’ve been working on went sideways, then got a lucky break.
Then there was a double ear infection, a funeral for a pet fish, a fender bender, a broken dishwasher, and the realization that, like it or not, with all of its ups and downs, this is it… as far as I know.
On the plus side, I had a blast teaching a class entitled Fall Favorites (in case you couldn’t make it, the recipes are available here). The menu was all about squashes, Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, turnips, pumpkin, apples, warm spices. And mushrooms…lots of them.
Even if the musty little fungi aren’t your cup of tea, you’ll still want to keep this recipe for the dressing. It’s rather addictive. Made with the juice of the yuzu fruit, an Asian citrus that resembles a large lemon and has a lip-puckering tang (there’s a better explanation and photos here), the vinaigrette makes vegetables and just about any protein jump off the plate. Try it on grilled fish, chicken, or tofu, tossed into raw or cooked greens, and drizzled over the simplest salad of sliced cucumber, avocado, and oranges.
My family can’t seem to get enough. Even the little guy (who is thankfully feeling better after a round of antibiotics) eats this salad by the handful. Splurge on a bottle of yuzu juice or substitute a combination of orange and lime juice.
After a bumpy ride of a week, this recipe just might keep you buoyant, too. I’m happy to pass it on, with thanks to Chef Matsuhisa for sharing his darn tasty inspiration. You never know when it will come to the rescue. Because, as Ian McEwan wrote so eloquently in Saturday, one of my favorite books ever, “There’s always this. And there’s only this.”
6 first-course servings
1 pound assorted wild mushrooms (such as stemmed shiitake, maitake, chanterelle, oyster), thickly sliced or left whole if bite-sized
3 tablespoons refined (preferably organic) coconut oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
¼ cup sake
Japanese Citrus Dressing
3 tablespoons soy or tamari sauce
3 tablespoons yuzu juice or 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice and ½ tablespoon fresh orange juice
1 large garlic clove, minced
½ cup avocado oil or organic grapeseed oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 (5-ounce) package baby greens
¼ cup chopped fresh chives, for garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 400˚F. In a large bowl, toss the mushrooms with the oil, season generously with salt and pepper, and place on a silicone-lined (or parchment-covered) baking sheet. Roast until just beginning to brown, about 7 minutes. Splash with sake and continue roasting for another 5 minutes, or until browned and dry.
2. While the mushrooms are roasting, prepare the Japanese Citrus Dressing: Whisk the soy sauce, yuzu juice, and garlic in a medium bowl. Slowly whisk in the oil. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.
3. Toss the greens lightly with the dressing. Divide the greens among serving plates. Divide the warm roasted mushrooms on top of each salad. Drizzle the remaining dressing over the greens and mushrooms. Garnish with chives and serve.
This salad will definitely grace my Thanksgiving/Hanukkah table next month! Here are some other salads suitable for holiday feasting:
Kale Quinoa Salad with Mustard-Maple Vinaigrette
The fall recipes are still coming in and I’m drooling! Share yours in my Fall Cooking Contest for a chance to win these beautiful, handy, and scary-sharp knives from Kyocera!
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