Yesterday, I had lunch with girl friends from law school, the conversation — hilarious all the way — ranged from unsavory characters to disillusionment with the justice system to domestic help issues to coffee makers to, of course, food.
Speedy joined us for the last hour or so of our get-together and, somewhere between funny stories about espresso machines and some of my friends’ total lack of baking skills, he mentioned Giada de Laurentiis’ fresh mushrooms and parsley salad.
Two of my lawyer friends, almost in unison, declared how they mistrusted Giada because she looked too thin to actually be eating what she cooked. They said they liked Ina Garten better. Well, I don’t mistrust Giada just because she’s thin but I do like Ina Garten better too. And I do like this fresh mushrooms and parsley salad that Speedy prepared for lunch today, a second side dish to go with our fried whole boneless bangus (milkfish).
In the original recipe, the fresh button mushrooms were simply sliced — very raw — and tossed with the parsley and dressing. If we could have gotten our hands on really fresh mushrooms, straight from the farm, we would have done the same. But when using grocery-bought mushrooms that have been transported from place to place, probably chilled and re-chilled, well, it seemed more prudent to blanch them first. So I did before Speedy tossed them with the parsley and dressing.
- 2 cups sliced fresh white button mushrooms
- 3 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- shaved cheese see notes below
Boil about four cups of water. Blanch the mushrooms. Once the water boils again, take the pan off the heat, drain the mushrooms then plunge in iced water. Drain well.
Meanwhile, stir together all the ingredients for the dressing. Feel free to adjust the amounts to get the balance that you prefer (see additional notes below).
In a bowl, toss together the mushrooms and parsley. Drizzle the dressing over them and gently toss a few times.
Top the salad with shaved cheese and serve.
For even better results, before squeezing the lemon, zest it first and add the zest to the dressing to turn the color a brighter yellow and to make it more aromatic.
Parmesan was used in the original recipe but we used gouda for the salad. You can use any cheese that you like.