This is a recipe that has undoubtedly morphed over time, not least because I loaned someone the original recipe book & they Never Gave It Back 😦 I have fond memories of that book, too: it was Salad Days, a companion volume to the wonderful Use Your Loaf by Ursel & Derek Norman, which I still use a lot. (I can’t believe the price for a new hardcover edition on Amazon, though!)
Back to the salad – it’s a ridiculously easy recipe and very very tasty. I’ve found that often when you see mushroom salads on a buffet table, they’re the cooked variety, where the toothsome little fungi have been heated in a dressing of some sort. Personally I don’t think you should ever go there. Instead:
- halve your mushrooms, if they are the little button sort, or slice them (about 5mm thick) if not, & place in a bowl.
- shake together a pinch of salt, some good olive oil and some vinegar in a 2:1 ratio, until nicely emulsified. You don’t want too much – the mushrooms will soak it up to begin with, but then release a bit of liquid later, so you don’t want to drench them at the start. From memory the original recipe used a white wine vinegar but these days I use balsamic – I find the flavour complements the earthiness of the mushrooms beautifully.
- pour the dressing over your mushrooms, add a sprinkling of fresh herbs (lemon thyme is good) , & set aside for an hour or two, stirring occasionally so all the mushrooms end up coated with dressing. They’ll soften, darken, & taste delicious.
- serve & enjoy 🙂