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Jenise

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IOTM: Mushroom & Watercress salad w/shallot vinaigrette

by Jenise » Tue Jan 09, 2007 3:14 pm

I was at the store yesterday afternoon and spied the most beautiful dark green bunches of watercress, a green I've become inordinately fond of but rarely get since 'the real deal' is tough to find up here. Had to have it. And since dinner was going to be Italian (lasagna) and since the brown crimini mushrooms were particularly small and firm (1" size vs. the more usual 2-3"), I was inspired to base my salad on just those two ingredients. For additional Italian flavor and texture, I added some shaved Asiago cheese and thinly sliced radish halves, but the best punch came from the shallot-red wine vinaigrette--a dressing that probably would have been just a red wine vinaigrette had IOTM not encouraged me to think onion. The result was a perfect blend of earthy and fruity--these flavors didn't just work well, they seemed destined for each other--and it paired wonderfully with a fresh young Italian red wine. It's going to be a new classic in my kitchen.

Serves four.

Make the vinaigrette first:

1 tablespoon good quality red wine vinegar*
2 tablespoons EVOO
1 large shallot, diced
1 clove garlic, smooshed
salt to taste

*some adjustment may be needed depending on the strength of your red wine vinegar, also don't hesitate to add a teaspoon of fresh red wine to pop out the wine flavor of a tired or too-acidic red vinegar

To a salad bowl, add:

1 bunch watercress, rinsed and picked into small sprigs
1/2 lb crimini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1/4 c shaved asiago cheese
6 radishes halved and sliced
Several grinds of fresh cracked black pepper

Toss and serve.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Christina Georgina

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Re: IOTM: Mushroom & Watercress salad w/shallot vinaigrette

by Christina Georgina » Tue Jan 09, 2007 3:43 pm

Thanks for the * . I've often been disappointed by the disappearance of the wine taste not long after the bottle is openend and never thought to do as you suggest. Now I can finish off some of my vinegars !
I imagine radish accomplished color, texture and complimented the pepper notes of the cress. Sounds like an inspired combo.
Mamma Mia !
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Jenise

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Re: IOTM: Mushroom & Watercress salad w/shallot vinaigrette

by Jenise » Tue Jan 09, 2007 3:47 pm

Yes, the radish complemented the sharp flavor of the cress, and added a nice texture element.

I liked this so much that I'm going to go out this morning for the last two bunches of the cress they had, and serve the salad for company again tomorrow night.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov

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