Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Roasted Mushroom, Tomato, and Herb Salad

LESLIE: We’ve all got our trusted sources for recipes and one of mine is the Washington Post food section. (Bonus: I use it so often I can call my digital subscription a business expense!) I’ve revised this one enough that probably only the name is recognizable. It’s great all-year round, but especially when your back deck is bursting with fresh herbs.

Clearly, this is a dish for mushroom lovers. You can certainly mix cremini and button if you find cremini a bit strong. Serve it by itself as a side salad or on a bed of greens, as we did. Use whatever fresh herbs you have and love. I suggest a mix of parsley, basil, and tarragon or dill. If you enjoy cilantro, add a tablespoon or two. 

I always find that when a recipe calls for lemon juice, it’s best to start with about half and add more if you need to, because if you get too much pucker, you’re sunk. I’ve already cut the lemon juice for this recipe, but if you share my caution, cut it further and add to suit your own taste.

This is a great side with just about anything, and particularly good with something grilled. If you're cooking for two, you might start with half a recipe, but it does keep a few days. Just don't put it all on the salad greens -- you'll want to keep the mushroom and tomato mixture separately from the greens in your fridge. 

Roasted Mushroom, Tomato, and Herb Salad

For the mushrooms: 
10 ounces cremini mushrooms, washed and cut in half or quartered if they’re large
2 cloves garlic, minced 
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons olive oil

For the salad: 

4 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 cup chopped fresh mixed herbs (see note above) 
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (optional) 
zest of 1 lemon 
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice plus more to taste 
1/4 cup olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Salad greens (optional)

For the mushrooms: 

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a silicon sheet or parchment paper.

Combine the mushrooms, garlic, salt, and the 2 tablespoons of olive oil on the baking sheet and stir to coat evenly, then spread in a single layer. Roast 15 minutes, or just until sizzling and browned. Let cool; wipe out your mixing bowl.

For the salad: 

Put the roasted, cooled mushrooms in the mixing bowl. Add the tomatoes, herbs, lemon zest and juice, and the 1/4 cup olive oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Toss gently to incorporate.

Taste, and add more lemon juice, salt, and pepper, as needed. Serve as is or on a bed of greens. 

Serves 6. 

From the cover of CHAI ANOTHER DAY, Spice Shop Mystery #4 (Seventh St. Books): 

 Seattle Spice Shop owner Pepper Reece probes murder while juggling a troubled employee, her mother's house hunt, and a fisherman who's set his hook for her.

As owner of the Spice Shop in Seattle's famed Pike Place Market, Pepper Reece is always on the go. Between conjuring up new spice blends and serving iced spice tea to customers looking to beat the summer heat, she finally takes a break for a massage. But the Zen moment is shattered when she overhears an argument in her friend Aimee's vintage home decor shop that ends in murder. 

Wracked by guilt over her failure to intervene, Pepper investigates, only to discover a web of deadly connections that could ensnare a friend - and Pepper herself.

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries, and the winner of Agatha Awards in three categories. Death al Dente, the first Food Lovers' Village Mystery, won Best First Novel in 2013, following her 2011 win in Best Nonfiction. Her first historical short story, "All God's Sparrows," won the 2018 Agatha Award for Best Short Story, and is now nominated for a Macavity award; read it on her website. A past president of Sisters in Crime and a current board member of Mystery Writers of America, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher.

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  1. This sounds like a great combination of the mushroom earthiness and the fresh sweet tomato.