Friday, April 10, 2015

Eating Smart With Spring Salads

This is the time of year for Spring Cleaning ~ closets, garages, kitchen cupboards, all the nooks and crannies, both in our houses and ourselves.

We are gearing up for our spring trip to Peru and the Galapagos, lots of hiking and snorkeling and physical activity on this one.  We want to be at our physical best to enjoy it all (as opposed to just suffering through it!), so April is Spring Salad Month at our house.  I'm on a campaign to have a  different (new & exciting!) salad on the table for dinner most nights. 

Here's one of our new favorites:  Ina Garten's Warm Mushroom Salad (shown here with Gorgonzola crusted lamb chops).  It's just a few ingredients, it's on the table in just 20 minutes, and it feels elegant and interesting ~ not like you're confined to having "just a salad" for dinner.  (Don't skimp on any of the ingredients though!) 

You can certainly add a bit of protein, like I did here with rack of lamb ~ but for Spring Salad Month, I'm serving it all on it's own.

Prep Time:  10 min
Cook Time:  10 min
Serves:  4 Servings

1 pound cremini mushrooms
2 T unsalted butter
4 T good olive oil
1 t kosher salt
1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
4 bunches fresh arugula, washed and spun dry
8 slices good Italian prosciutto (I like Costco's)
2  T sherry wine vinegar
Chunk of Parmesan cheese 
8 sun-dried tomatoes in oil,  drained and julienned
Fresh flat-leave parsley leaves

Clean the mushrooms by brushing the tops with a clean sponge. Don't (ever!) wash them.  Remove and discard the stems and slice the caps 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.

In a large saute pan, heat the butter and 2 T of the olive oil until bubbly.  Add the mushrooms, salt & pepper to the pan, and saute for 3 minutes over medium heat, tossing frequently.   Reduce the heat to low and saute for another  2 to 3 minutes, until cooked through.

Meanwhile, arrange the arugula on 4 lunch plates (or on a platter)
and cover each portion with 2 slices of prosciutto

When the mushrooms are cooked, add the sherry wine vinegar 
and the remaining 2 T of olive oil to the hot pan.  

Spoon the mushrooms and sauce on top of the prosciutto.  With a vegetable peeler, make large shavings of Parmesan cheese and place on top of the hot mushrooms.    Sprinkle with the sun-dried tomatoes, parsley leaves, salt and pepper.

Serve it warm, with love, and call it dinner.  
It's Spring Salad Month, after all.....

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