Sunday, April 30, 2017

Boston Lettuce with White Asparagus and Oil Cured Olive Vinaigrette Marinated Mushrooms






     A Café Style Marinated Mushroom Salad!
     Marinated Mushroom Salads have been popular off and on in cafés and fine dining restaurants during the last 50 years.  It seems like the dining public takes interest in Marinated Mushroom Salads for a few months, then it is practically impossible to give one away.  From what I have noticed, overbearing vinegar flavors or poor preparation methods are usually to blame for lulls in Marinated Mushroom Salad sales.  
     I used to make a Fennel Marinated Mushroom Salad at a Northern Italian restaurant that sold quite well.  A hearty salad like this is a nice antipasti course.  Marinated Mushroom Salads also sell well at old fashioned steakhouse restaurants, because they are a nice accompaniment for beef.  Marinated Mushroom Salads may be old fashioned, but they still have a place in a chef's repertoire.       
     The vinaigrette for today's salad is made with minced oil cured black olives, so it has a deep flavor that pairs well with mushrooms.  The mushrooms are marinated in the rich tasting vinaigrette and the deep olive flavor thoroughly saturates the mushrooms.  Blanched White Asparagus Spears add a crisp elegantly light flavor that offsets the heavy marinated mushrooms.
     Hard boiled eggs that are cooked so the yolk is gelled and not fully cooked have been en vogue in recent years.  Boiling a large egg for 9 minutes, instead of 12 to 15 minutes, will yield a soft cooked yolk.
 
     White Asparagus Spears: 
     This recipe yields 1 garnish portion.
     Step 1:  Peel 4 or 5 white asparagus spears.
     Trim the stalks, so the spears are about 4" to 5" long.
     Step 2:  Blanch the white asparagus spears in salted boiling water, till they are cooked al dente.
     Remove the blanched asparagus from the boiling water and cool the spears in a container of ice water.
     Step 3:  Drain off the water.
     Chill the white asparagus spears till they are needed.

     Oil Cured Olive Vinaigrette: 
     This recipe yields about 3/4 cup.  (Enough for 2 Marinated Mushroom Salads.)
     Step 1:  Place 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar in a mixing bowl.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of Dijon Mustard.
     Add 3 tablespoons of minced pitted oil cured black olives.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic.
     Add 2 pinches of sea salt and black pepper.  (to taste)
     Stir the ingredients together.
     Set the mixture aside for 5 minutes, so the flavors meld.
     Step 2:  Slowly add 3 tablespoons of virgin olive oil while constantly whisking.
     Slowly add 3 tablespoons of pomace olive oil while whisking.
     Step 3:  Place the Oil Cured Olive Vinaigrette in a container.
     Set the container aside or chill it for later use.
 
     Oil Cured Olive Vinaigrette Marinated Mushrooms:
     This recipe yields 1 garnish portion. 
     *The mushrooms should be marinated shortly before serving the salad.  Do not marinate for too much time or the mushrooms will become soggy!
     Place 1/3 cup of thin sliced Button Cave Mushrooms in a small mixing bowl.
     Add 3 tablespoons of the Oil Cured Olive Vinaigrette.
     Toss the ingredients together.
     Marinate the mushrooms for 5 to 10 minutes.
   
 
     Boston Lettuce with White Asparagus and Oil Cured Olive Vinaigrette Marinated Mushrooms:
     This recipe yields 1 salad entrée.
     Step 1:  Place 6 large trimmed Boston Lettuce leaves on a plate, so the stalk ends of the leaves overlap on the center of the plate.
     Mound 1 1/2 cups of coarsely chopped Boston Lettuce on the center of the bed of lettuce leaves.
     Sprinkle the Oil Cured Olive Vinaigrette Marinated Mushrooms on the mound of lettuce.
     Step 2:  Place 2 very thin slices of Bermuda Onion on top of the mound of lettuce.
     Place 2 thin tomato slices on the onions.
     Place the blanched white asparagus spears on top of the tomato slices.
     Drape a few thin strips of roasted pimiento over the asparagus spears.
     Step 3:  Pour 2 to 3 tablespoons of the remaining Oil Cured Olive Vinaigrette over the asparagus spears.
     Place 1/2 of a hard boiled egg on the top of the salad.  (9 minute egg)

     Oil Cured Olives have a deep rich aged olive flavor that is much milder tasting than Kalamata Olives.  The oil Oil Cured Olive Vinaigrette is perfect for the white asparagus and mushrooms!

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