Mushroom & Orange Salad, Cumin Vinaigrette

 

Mushroom and Orange Salad with Cumin Vinaigrette

Mushroom and Orange Salad
Romaine lettuce, white mushrooms, orange sections, and red onion

It is a delicious, light salad that accompanies many kinds of meals well. I have also taken the mushrooms out and used avocado instead, depending on my mood and ingredients on hand. Enjoy!

Salad
  • Mushrooms, sliced
  • Orange, peeled and sectioned
  • Romaine lettuce, chopped
  • Red onion, sliced

Quantities? It all depends on whether you are serving this as a small side salad or as a main meal, doesn’t it? For a side salad, I use one orange and one large mushroom for every two people that I’m serving. One trimmed head of romaine per two people is more than ample.

Need help sectioning an orange? Here you go: Sectioning an Orange.

If your romaine isn’t as crisp as you would like it, wash it, then put it in a fresh bowl of water with some ice cubes for a few minutes.

Vinaigrette
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 clove garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon cumin
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Yields slightly more than a 1/2 cup of dressing. You will have leftover dressing.

Combine the vinegar, garlic, sugar, cumin, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in the olive oil. I generally make the dressing at least an hour ahead of use, so that the garlic has a chance to permeate the oil and vinegar. Refrigerate the dressing if you make it ahead, then whisk again before tossing the salad. The cold helps prevent the dressing from separating.

Ann Fisher

Mushroom and Orange Salad with Cumin Vinaigrette
Mushroom and Orange Salad with Cumin Vinaigrette

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Mushroom & Orange Salad, Cumin Vinaigrette

 

Mushroom and Orange Salad with Cumin Vinaigrette

Mushroom and Orange Salad
Romaine lettuce, white mushrooms, orange sections, and red onion

It is a delicious, light salad that accompanies many kinds of meals well. I have also taken the mushrooms out and used avocado instead, depending on my mood and ingredients on hand. Enjoy!

Salad
  • Mushrooms, sliced
  • Orange, peeled and sectioned
  • Romaine lettuce, chopped
  • Red onion, sliced

Quantities? It all depends on whether you are serving this as a small side salad or as a main meal, doesn’t it? For a side salad, I use one orange and one large mushroom for every two people that I’m serving. One trimmed head of romaine per two people is more than ample.

Need help sectioning an orange? Here you go: Sectioning an Orange.

If your romaine isn’t as crisp as you would like it, wash it, then put it in a fresh bowl of water with some ice cubes for a few minutes.

Vinaigrette
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 clove garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon cumin
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Yields slightly more than a 1/2 cup of dressing. You will have leftover dressing.

Combine the vinegar, garlic, sugar, cumin, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in the olive oil. I generally make the dressing at least an hour ahead of use, so that the garlic has a chance to permeate the oil and vinegar. Refrigerate the dressing if you make it ahead, then whisk again before tossing the salad. The cold helps prevent the dressing from separating.

Ann Fisher

Mushroom and Orange Salad with Cumin Vinaigrette
Mushroom and Orange Salad with Cumin Vinaigrette

Thank you for visiting — for other articles on life and travel, browse the home page:

home-page

Tagliatelle with Mushrooms

Porcini mushrooms
Porcini mushrooms

Over the past two years, I have visited Italy multiple times, and I have learned so much through cooking with a wonderful woman in Florence. I think I’ve learned just as much eating there. One of the things I appreciate the most about Italian cooking is the simplicity of the ingredients. This dish is about mushrooms and onions with a caramelized tomato flavor.

What kind of mushrooms? If we were in Italy, I would choose porcini mushrooms, but getting them fresh here is not so easy. I have used cremini mushrooms (baby portobellos). This time I used shiitake mushrooms because my market had some really lovely ones. I would not use the standard white mushrooms because the flavor is not intense enough. Depending on the type of mushroom you choose, the stems may be tough and should be discarded, unless you want them for flavor in making a stock.

Shiitake Mushrooms
Shiitake Mushrooms

You can also use dried mushrooms. The benefit can be a more intense flavor. If I can get fresh ones — I like the texture better. If you do use dried mushrooms, use 3/4 cup, soak them in water for an hour, drain and then squeeze the excess water from them and proceed with the recipe below.

Cremini or baby portobellos
Cremini or baby portobello mushrooms

Then to the pasta. What is the difference between tagliatelle and fettuccine? They are very close to the same. When I make pasta from scratch, it is tagliatelle. Fettuccine is a great substitute because it’s available dry in most stores, and it is the nearly the same width as tagliatelle, only a touch wider. It’s just a bit thicker.

Ingredients

Serves four.

  • 2 cups mushrooms (see above for type), coarsely chopped
  • Half a medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 5 tablespoons tomato paste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh tagliatelle or dry fettuccine (3 – 4 ounces dry pasta per person)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmigiano

Put water into your pasta pot along with some sea salt or kosher salt. Water takes awhile to boil, so you’ll want to turn the heat up on high about the time you put the water and wine into the sauce below. You can always drop the temperature on the pasta water down if it comes to a boil before you are ready to cook the pasta.

Cook the onion and mushrooms in the olive oil over a medium high heat for about four minutes, stirring from time to time. Add the water and the wine, continue cooking until liquid is reduced by half or more. Be sure your pasta water is heating.

Then add the tomato paste. Drop the heat to between low and medium and continue cooking for about 30 minutes, stirring often. This will become dense and non-liquid. You may need to drop the heat. If you are using dry pasta, begin cooking it in the last ten minutes of finishing the mushroom mixture.

Toss the pasta with freshly grated parmigiano cheese and the mushroom mixture, and serve immediately.

Note on tossing the pasta: I toss individual servings — this way you get a balanced amount of mushroom mixture, pasta and cheese. Much better than tossing all of it together — where you have a tendency to get a uneven mixture.

Tagliatelle with Mushrooms
Tagliatelle with Mushrooms

How much pasta per person? It depends on whether it is a side dish, or the main dish. I would use 2 ounces (dry pasta weight) for a side dish, and 3 to 4 ounces for a main dish, depending on the appetites of the people you are serving.

Photographs: both my own and from iStockPhoto.