This dish was inspired by a meal Jake had at the restaurant Fore Street in Portland, ME. Their version used black trumpet mushrooms and clothbound cheddar, which we didn’t have access to, but we think we’ve done it justice. For a meatless salad that eats like a meal look no further.
Equipment Needed: Frying Pan, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Wooden Spoon, Paper Towels, Sieve or Salad Spinner, Small Mixing Bowl, Fork
Serving Suggestion: Individual Plating
Suggested Wine Pairing: Cabernet Sauvignon, Rioja, Malbec
Suggested Beer Pairing: Porter, Stout, Bitter Ale
- 5 oz arugula ($3.49/5 oz package)
- 2 lbs. baby bella or crimini mushrooms ($2.99/lb)
- 1 large shallot ($2.99/lb)
- 2 cloves garlic ($2.99/lb)
- 6 oz porter cheddar (or any good aged cheddar) (about $8.99/lb)
- 1 C walnuts (about $8.99/lb)
- 2 TBSP unsalted butter ($4.99/lb)
- 2 TBSP & 1/4 C extra virgin olive oil, divided ($8.99/32 oz)
- 2 TBSP whole grain mustard ($4.99/8oz jar)
- 1 TBSP honey ($4.39/12 oz)
- 4 TBSP balsamic vinegar, divided ($8.99/32 oz)
- In your small mixing bowl combine the mustard, 1/4 C of olive oil, 2 TBSP balsamic vinegar and your honey. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and whisk everything vigorously with a fork. Give it a taste to adjust the flavors to your liking and set it aside.
- Peel your shallots and garlic. Cut the shallots into quarters, lengthwise, and then go on to slice each piece thinly. Crush and mince the garlic and combine the two in a small bowl.
- Using a damp paper towel, wipe off your mushrooms and slice them thinly. Place the frying pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. When it’s shimmering add the mushrooms with a palmful of salt and pepper. Let them cook down for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, and then add the garlic and shallots.
- Pour in 2 TBSP of balsamic vinegar and let everything cook down for another 10 minutes and take off the burner.
- Wash and dry your arugula and put it in your serving bowl. Take the cheddar and cut it first into quarter inch thick slices and then into quarter inch cubes. Set aside separately from the arugula.
- Place a frying pan over medium head and add a tablespoon of butter. Make sure to swirl it around the pan to coat the bottom. Add your walnut pieces and let them sit for about 4 minutes (make sure to check at 3 minutes; if they smell like they’re burning, they probably are).
- Stir the walnuts and sprinkle on some salt and pepper. Toast for another 4 minutes and remove from the heat.
- We suggest layering things as follows: Arugula, mushrooms, walnuts, and cheddar. Drizzle some dressing across the top of the whole lot and graze away.