Soups and Salads

Arugula Salad with Prosciutto and Oyster Mushrooms

Yield: 4 to 6 servings


3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 pound oyster mushrooms, thickly sliced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 inner celery ribs, cut into matchsticks, plus julienned celery leaves, for garnish
5 cups baby arugula
3 ounces Pecorino Romano, shaved with a vegetable peeler
3 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto di Parma


In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until tender and lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Transfer the mushrooms to a bowl and let cool.

In a large bowl, whisk the vinegar with the lemon zest and the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add the celery matchsticks, arugula and mushrooms and gently toss. Transfer the salad to a large platter or bowl, top with the Pecorino Romano, prosciutto and celery leaves. Serve right away.

Adapted from?Food + Wine.

Wilted Spinach and Oyster Mushroom Salad with Warm Goat Cheese

Yield: 4 servings


1 bunch fresh baby spinach, trimmed, washed
6 oz fresh oyster mushrooms, shredded, stems trimmed
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons white wine
1 clove garlic, minced
3 slices thick-sliced bacon, cut in 1/2 inch pieces, fried, 2 tablespoons fat reserved
1/2 small red onion, julienned
3 ounces soft unripened goat cheese
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper to taste


In a small jar with lid, combine the crumbled goat cheese, vinegar, sugar and a pinch of salt and pepper. Shake well to combine.

Heat the olive oil in a small saute pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the mushrooms and cook 1 minute. Gently stir the mushrooms and cook until they have released their water and it has evaporated. Add wine, and simmer rapidly until the pan is almost dry.

Reduce the heat to medium low, add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are tender, about 2 minutes more. Remove the pan from the heat and cover to keep warm.

Sweat the onions in 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat until they soften, do not brown. Remove the pan from the heat and pour in the goat cheese dressing. Stir until the cheese is melted and smooth.

Combine the mushrooms, bacon and dressing with the spinach, and toss gently. Working quickly, divide the salad on plates and garnish with cracked pepper. Serve immediately.

Adapted from?Island Vittles.

Cream of Mushroom Soup

We highly recommend using an immersion or stick blender when making a hot pureed soup. You don’t have to risk 3rd-degree burns pouring a boiling liquid into a traditional blender, and it even cleans up more easily.

Yield: 6 servings


5 cups fresh oyster mushrooms, chopped
2 tablespoons bacon grease, butter or olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, or 1 tsp fresh sprigs
4 – 5 bay leaves
1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup half-and-half
1 tablespoon sherry, sweet vermouth or bourbon
1 tablespoon Sriracha hot sauce (or more to taste!)


In a large heavy saucepan or dutch oven, cook mushrooms and onion in bacon grease until tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add garlic, stir for a minute, then add broth, thyme, and bay leaves. Bring to a simmer and allow to cook for five minutes.

Remove and reserve bay leaves and, if you used fresh thyme, remove the sprigs.

Using an immersion blender (or in a blender or food processor), puree the mixture, leaving some chunks of vegetable for texture. Set aside.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter, whisk in the flour until smooth. Quickly whisk or blend this into the soup, then add salt, pepper, and half & half. Return bay leaves and thyme sprigs to the pot.

Stirring constantly, bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat and cook until thickened. Add sherry, bourbon or vermouth, plus hot sauce. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed.