January 16, 2006


Let me clarify. Another recipe from the Cafe Flora book we made over the weekend was Warm Spinach Salad with Smoked Mushrooms and Roasted Shallot Dijon Vinaigrette. J smoked the mushrooms on our grill using techniques from Steve Raichlen. The mushrooms replace the bacon in this salad and, thanks to the mesquite wood chips we used (that's all we had), it was very convincing. Not that we were trying to convince ourselves out of bacon (even though it will kill you). We love mushrooms and this recipe sounded (and was) absolutely amazing. But as for the bacon thing, even the next morning the kitchen smelled like bacon - really.

The dressing includes shallot, lots of garlic, olive oil, brown sugar, Dijon mustard, black peppercorns, red wine vinegar, and salt. The garlic and shallot are roasted first to mellow and sweeten them.

You saute the mushrooms in olive oil for a few minutes and then add one leek, sliced. Once the leek is tender, add the dressing, bring to a boil and remove from the heat. Then toss cherry tomatoes in the pan to coat them with all that good flavor. Pour everything over a big bed of spinach and finally sprinkle with raw, green pumpkin seeds which you have already toasted. Heaven. Pure heaven.

OK, so smoked mushrooms don't look much different than non-smoked mushrooms. But we smoked 'em!

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