Fresh Pumpkin & Mushroom Salad
BY CHEF ROBIN WHITE
Prep Time: 40 minutes – Bake time: 20 minutes – Serves: many
This fall salad is delicate while at the same time deliciously decadent. Hold onto those small sugar pumpkins after Halloween because they are perfect for this salad.
Two things are consistent with Chef Robin’s recipes. First, all ingredients should be fresh, local and as organic as possible, the salad, the pumpkin and the truffles or truffle oil. The flavors are always so much better. Secondly, presentation. Chef Robin believes that all the senses are involved in enjoying a meal. The way it looks magnifies the senses of taste and smell.
FALL PUMPKIN & MUSHROOM SALAD
– 1 small about 1 1/2 lb sugar pumpkin or butternut squash if you can’t find fresh pumpkin
– 2 large shallots, sliced in rings
– 1 pound of meat mushrooms such as portobello, shiitake, or cremini, de-stemmed tops cut in half, portobello cut in strips
– 1/4 extra virgin olive oil
– salt and pepper to taste
– 1 small truffle or truffle oil
– 2 tbsp of a nice balsamic vinegar at least 15 years old
– juice of one fresh lemon
– 1 tsp super finely minced fresh rosemary
– 2 cup or so of your favorite mixed greens
1. Prepare you pumpkin. Slice open, remove the seeds and peel or cut off the skin. Cube the pumpkin meat into 1″ to 2″ squares.
2. Combine the pumpkin, shallots, mushroom tops and oil in a bowl and toss to coat.
3. Put baking sheet under the broiler for about 15-20 minutes until pumpkin is slightly charred and cooked through.You will have to turn the veggies with a spatula a few times during the cooking to help them cook evenly. When veggies are cooked through transfer them to a bowl.
4. Whisk the balsamic with the fresh lemon juice. If using a canned truffle mince about 1 oz and add it and 1 tablespoon of the oil truffle into the dressing. (If you are not using the truffle oil, use 1 tbsp olive oil) Whisk in the rosemary and let it sit for a minute to for the flavors to marry.
5. Toss the dressing in the now warm to room temperature broiled veggies.
6. Plate at this time a nice portion of greens and top it with the roasted veggies. If using a fresh truffle, slice 4 or 5 slices on a truffle slicer over each serving or drizzle a small (less is more here) amount of truffle oil last minute over each salad and serve.
Chef Robin White has owned over 10 restaurants in her career. Her focus today is teaching and promoting the use of fresh and local foods in recipes. She encourages people to embrace dining at home as a part of their lifestyle. Table settings, food presentation and wine pairings are all a part of the experience.
Chef Robin was inducted into the Les Dames d’ Escoffier in 2017.