Wild and Exotic Mushroom Salad on Marinated Tomatoes with Warm Sherry-Bacon Vinaigrette ►
Sometimes the simplest ingredients can turn into the most interesting flavors. For this salad, Thinly sliced marinated tomatoes are served with wilted greens, sauteed mushrooms, and a dressing that includes smoked bacon. More tomatoes, cooked down to a soft consistency with sherry and sherry vinegar, add a topping with an intense flavor hit.
- Roasted Tomato Fondue
- Tomatoes - 1 pound, very ripe, flavorful
- Olive Oil - 3 tablespoons
- Fino Sherry - 2 tablespoons
- Sherry Vinegar - 2 tablespoons
- Yellow Tomatoes - 2 pounds (alt. any low- to medium-acid tomatoes, yellow or red)
- Shallots - 2, peeled and minced
- Tarragon - 1 teaspoon, stems removed and minced
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil - 1⁄3 cup
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Mushroom Salad
- Wild and Exotic Mushrooms - 1 pound, mixed, (choose at least 3 different varieties from the following list: shiitakes, chanterelles, hedgehogs, black trumpets, oysters, cremini)
- Olive Oil - 1⁄4 cup
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Watercress - 4 to 5 cups, frisee, endive, or arugula or any combination
- Sweet Onion - 1 3- to 4-ounce, peeled and shaved paper-thin using a mandolin or Japanese slicer
- Fresh Tarragon and Parsley - 1⁄4 cup, stemmed and chopped, combined
- Smoked Bacon - 4 ounces, country-sliced, cut crosswise into julienne
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil - 1⁄4 cup plus 2 tablespoons
- Garlic - 1 teaspoon, minced
- Shallot - 1 tablespoon, minced
- Sherry Vinegar - 1⁄4 cup
- Fino Sherry - 2 tablespoons
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil - 2 tablespoons
- Reserved Bacon - chopped
- Tarragon Leaves - 1 tablespoon, fresh, cut into chiffonade (thin slices)
To roast the tomatoes: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Cut the tomatoes in half, toss with olive oil, and roast on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil for 35 to 40 minutes. The tomatoes are ready when they have softened and lightly browned and the skins are beginning to pull away. Purée the tomatoes through a food mill into a medium non-reactive saucepot. Add the sherry and vinegar to the tomatoes, and set the saucepot over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until thickened to the consistency of crème anglaise. Season with salt to taste and reserve.
To marinate the tomatoes: Slice tomatoes as thinly as possible, and remove to a large platter or sheet pan. In a small container combine the shallots, tarragon, olive oil, and freshly ground black pepper and drizzle the mixture over the tomatoes. Cover and reserve at room temperature for up to 6 hours.
To prepare the mushrooms: Clean, trim, and slice the mushrooms, discarding the trimmings. Heat a heavy-bottomed sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and saute the mushrooms seasoned with salt and pepper, until browned. (If your pan is not large enough to hold the mushrooms comfortably in one layer, saueé in batches.) With a slotted spoon remove the mushrooms to paper toweling and reserve.
To prepare the greens: Clean the greens thoroughly, and dry in a salad spinner or by hand with paper toweling. Tear into small pieces and refrigerate in plastic bags until ready to use. Remove from the refrigerator no more than 15 minutes before using.
To make the vinaigrette: In a heavy-bottomed steel or cast-iron pan cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove the cooked bacon to paper towels, leaving the rendered fat in the pan. Add the olive oil to the fat remaining in the pan and heat over medium-high heat until aromatic but not smoking. Add the minced garlic and shallot, and cook for 15 seconds without scorching. Pour the oil into a heavy bowl and immediately add vinegar, sherry, and salt and pepper to taste. Season to taste and adjust the acidity, adding more vinegar if necessary. The dressing should be tart.
To serve: Divide the marinated tomatoes among the serving plates. In a large stainless steel bowl combine the greens, shaved onion, chopped parsley, and tarragon. Heat a 10-inch sauté pan over medium-high heat, splash with olive oil, and sauté the mushrooms to warm through. Stir the vinaigrette well and add to the mushrooms. Pour over the greens. Toss to wilt lightly, and divide among plates. Drizzle tomato fondue and extra-virgin olive oil around. Sprinkle with reserved crisp bacon and tarragon chiffonade.