One Saturday morning we were meandering around the kitchen, taking our time waking up, and wondering what to make for dinner that night over coffee. Ah, I love those mornings. We turned on Lydia Bastianich on PBS, and she was cooking up a lot of mushrooms for a show. One was a warm mushroom salad, and we got inspired to make our own that night. I love salads, but I like inspired salads for dinner -salads that have unique toppings and crunchy bits and seasoned proteins are what get me excited. This was the recipe we made and documented for you. Aren't you lucky?
You can serve this with a soup or a vegetarian entree for a light dinner, or pair it with a roasted meat dish for something heartier. The left overs made a second salad for lunch the next day.
Warm Mushroom, Zucchini and Bacon Salad
2 Tbsp. olive oil
20 oz. mixed mushrooms (Crimini, Shitake, Button)
7 oz. pancetta or Boar’s Head thick cut bacon, diced
1 medium zucchini, sliced thin
3 lg. cloves garlic, diced
1 tsp. thyme, diced
¼ cup chardonnay wine
4 green onion, think sliced
10 escarole leaves, sliced 1 “ thick
4-5 oz. baby arugula and baby spinach, mixed
1 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
½ cup olive oil
sea salt and pepper to taste
Whisk together until emulsified. Set aside until ready to assemble salad. Dressing can keep in the refrigerator for one week.
Toss your greens together in a large salad bowl and set aside. In a large pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add pancetta or bacon and cook for 6 minutes. Add the garlic, mushrooms and zucchini to the pan and sauté until beginning to soften. Add thyme and cook for another 5 minutes. Next add the wine, and reduce 3-4 minutes. Add green onions and cook 3 minutes, then take off the heat. Add mushroom mixture to the bowl of escarole, baby spinach and arugula mixture. Drizzle dressing and toss. Serve with extra salt, pepper and extra dressing on the side for guests.