mushroom and rosemary salad

mushrooms are a source of contention in our house – i’m a fan but david is really not keen. as a result we rarely eat them. or, if we do, they are disguised within something such as my much-loved-and-definitely-worth-making-if-you-haven’t-already lentil and mushroom ragu, or saved for occasions when david is away, such as when i made this leek and mushroom lasagne for supper with some girlfriends. i also sneak them into salads.

occasionally though, i need a more intense mushroom fix and have to just go for it. this recipe from the wednesday chef triggered my mushroom desires and i made a batch to accompany an easy supper of broad and green bean pasta.

the recipe is very simple – thinly sliced mushrooms are dressed with olive oil and lemon juice then sprinkled with some finely chopped fresh rosemary plus a little salt to draw out the juices. the dish is left to stand (i left it for c15 minutes while sorting out the pasta) and a small amount of cream is then added. it is left for a little longer then finished with a final sprinkling of herbs (chives were suggested but i used mustard leaves) and ground pepper.

the end result is amazingly complex – the dressing ingredients result in beautifully tender mushrooms which you’d think had been cooked, while the rosemary adds a depth of green aromatic flavour which contrasts perfectly with the mushrooms’ earthiness. the lemon, as ever, lightens everything up. i really loved this dish and, amazingly, david also declared it a hit.

we ate this with a double bean, lemon and pink peppercorn pasta dish, but next time i make it i think i might toss it with pasta and parmesan shavings or serve it on top of some toasted bruschetta with roasted tomatoes on the side.