23 June 2017

Make mushrooms great again!

Last year, I remember eating a lovely little salad of thinly sliced mushrooms with a bright, zippy dressing drizzled over the top at a friend's house. It sounds too pompous to say this was a revelation, but it was--those ubiquitous grocery store white button mushrooms, in all of their blue-collar, mushroomy glory, displayed like a work of art and balanced with plenty of acid to keep them from tasting like dirt (cuz they kinda do).  I buy those 4 oz. packs wrapped in plastic all the time at my local Safeway, but I always cook the living daylights out of them and hide them in a mass of other vegetables. It never occurred to me to make them special.  And now that it's getting too hot in the kitchen to cook again, I thought I would try to recreate that late-summer snack I enjoyed with home brew last year, while talking about the meaning of life and how much better it would be if we ran the world. For the record, a glass of pinot grigio and a ban on all political talk are my current accompaniments. 

Mushroom Carpaccio

Serves 4 as a side or snack

½ pound mixed sliceable mushrooms (white, cremini baby bella…)
cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
Grated lemon rind from half of a lemon
1 garlic clove, minced
Juice from one whole lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, plus more for garnish
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 tablespoon small capers

Wash mushrooms and trim any ragged bottom ends, leaving stems otherwise intact. Cut mushrooms vertically into very thin slices; arrange on a platter in a single layer. Combine parsley, rind, and garlic in a bowl. Combine juice, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Gradually add oil to juice mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Drizzle juice mixture evenly over mushrooms; sprinkle with parsley mixture, cheese, and capers. Grind more pepper over the top if desired. Serve with crusty bread to sop up the dressing.

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