Serves 2 to 4
This is my take on the classic black and blue steak salad that I enjoyed back in my steak-eating days, but I use mushrooms as a substitute. Mushrooms have this “meaty” texture going on and once they absorb whatever marinade or sauce you cook them in, it really helps to bring out their umami flavors. They become so flavorful and juicy and are perfect on top of this familiar classic. Every time Alex eats this salad, he always says “Mmm!” Which as you know is one of the biggest compliments. Mushrooms are one of his faves and he loves it when I prepare them this way.
2 tablespoons canola oil
12 ounces (340 g) cremini mushrooms, halved if small, quartered if large
1 tablespoon (15 g) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon Montreal steak seasoning (such as McCormick), plus more to taste
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 small heads Little Gem lettuce, roughly chopped (about 6 cups)
½ pint cherry tomatoes, halved (about 1 cup/150 g)
½ medium English cucumber, thinly sliced (about 1 cup/65 g)
1½ ounces (42 g) blue cheese, crumbled (about 1/3 cup)
Make the shallot vinaigrette as directed at least 30 minutes ahead and refrigerate until serving.
Cook the mushrooms: Heat the canola oil in a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Once shimmering, place the mushrooms in the skillet, evenly distributed, with most of the cut sides down. Cook undisturbed until they are a deep golden color, about 5 minutes. Add the butter, steak seasoning, and Worcestershire sauce and give the mushrooms a stir. Cook until browned all over, 3 to 4 minutes. Taste and add salt, black pepper, and additional steak seasoning, if needed. Remove the skillet from the heat and let the mushrooms cool slightly.
Assemble the salad: Arrange the lettuce on a large platter or on individual serving plates. Add the tomatoes, cucumber, blue cheese, and mushrooms. Drizzle on just enough shallot vinaigrette to evenly coat the salad (there may be some left over) and serve immediately with the remaining vinaigrette on the side for anyone who would like more. Shallot Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
Substitutions for Little Gem lettuce: arugula, baby kale, frisée, mesclun, romaine, spinach
Substitutions for blue cheese: feta, goat cheese, Gorgonzola, parmesan, ricotta salata
Use nondairy butter, vegan Worcestershire sauce or tamari, and vegan feta or blue cheese. Veganize the Shallot Vinaigrette (recipe follows).
Makes about ¾ cup (175 ml)
1 small shallot, finely diced
½ cup (120 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup (120 ml) red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
Fine sea salt to taste
Combine the shallot, olive oil, vinegar, honey, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, black pepper, and salt in a small screw-top jar. Put on the lid and shake vigorously until thoroughly incorporated. Give it a taste and season with more salt, if needed. Let the shallots marinate in the dressing for 30 to 45 minutes prior to serving. This vinaigrette will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. (The oil will solidify once refrigerated. Let it sit at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes to allow the oil to liquefy before using.)
Use pure maple syrup instead of honey.
From Supper With Love by Michelle Braxton. Copyright © 2024 by Michelle Braxton. Reprinted by permission of Harvest, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
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