SaladIshan Jain

Wild Arugula and Asparagus Salad with Local Mushrooms, Petit Basque and Hazelnuts

SaladIshan Jain

I love salads and this is one if my favorites in the spring when asparagus are in season. I top wild arugula from the farmers market with sautéed local mushrooms, shaved Petit Basque and toasted hazelnuts. My favorite mushrooms are king trumpet oyster mushrooms, and they are available all year long. They have a slightly sweet, meaty flavor and look like they were plucked out of an Alice and Wonderland sketch. I usually add one other variety to the mix and in this recipe I used black trumpet. If you can find chantrelles this spring, substitute them for the black trumpets and the salad will be even better. Petit Basque is a mild, lightly nutty sheep’s milk cheese from the Pyrenees region of France that is firm enough to shave.

Active Time: 45 minutes
Serves 4

Ingredients

Mushrooms and Asparagus

1 lb king trumpet oyster mushrooms
1 lb black trumpet or chantrelle mushrooms
½ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed, stalks cut into 2-inch pieces

Vinaigrette

1 large garlic clove, grated or finely chopped
1 tablespoon shallot, finely diced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
¼ cup white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ cup olive oil

Salad

4 cups packed wild or baby arugula
1 cup shaved Petit Basque cheese – use a vegetable peeler
½ cup shelled hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped

Preparation

Mushrooms

Trim the bottoms off of the king trumpet mushrooms and cut them in half, or keep them whole if small. Set aside. Trim the ends off of the black trumpets and rinse them in a bowl of cold water, shaking back and forth to release any dirt and grit. Strain the mushrooms out of the water with your fingers and place them in sieve hanging over a mixing bowl. Dump the water bowl out, rinse and repeat with the mushrooms until the water in the bowl is clear and dirt free. Dry the black trumpets on paper towels. (If using chantrelle mushrooms, follow the same steps to rinse them).
Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, salt and pepper and toss to coat. Sauté mushrooms until all liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms are golden at the edges. Transfer to a bowl.
Add the asparagus to the pan with ¼ cup water and a generous pinch of salt. Cover and steam for 2 to 3 minutes, or until bright green and just cooked through. Remove the lid and sauté until dry, one minute more. Transfer to the bowl with the mushrooms and let cool to room temperature.

Vinaigrette

Whisk all ingredients except the olive oil in a small bowl. Slowly add the oil in a steady stream while consistently whisking – this will help to emulsify the dressing. Alternatively, put all the ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake until well until blended.

To Serve

Toss the arugula and half of the cheese with the ¾ of the dressing and place in a serving bowl. Add the remaining dressing to the mushrooms and asparagus and spoon over the top of the salad. Toss the salad gently to mix the mushrooms and asparagus with the arugula, just slightly. Scatter the hazelnuts and the rest of the cheese over the salad and serve.