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Roasted Mushroom and Shallot Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Used both in the dressing and as a salad component, roasted shallots suffuse this dish with their sweet, mellow, onionlike flavor. The roasted mushrooms bring a savory earthiness that pairs nicely with the shallots and the bitterness of the radicchio.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. mixed wild and cultivated mushrooms, such as chanterelle and shiitake, stemmed and thinly sliced
  • 8 Tbs. plus 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 1/2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp. sea salt, plus more, to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper, plus more, to taste
  • 4 large shallots
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 head Treviso radicchio, thinly sliced
  • 1 small head red leaf lettuce, leaves torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 400°F.

On a small rimmed baking sheet, stir together the mushrooms, 3 Tbs. of the olive oil, 2 tsp. of the thyme, 1/2 tsp. of the salt and the 1/4 tsp. pepper. In a pie pan or small baking dish, stir together the shallots, the 2 tsp. olive oil, 2 pinches of salt and several grinds of pepper. Place both pans in the oven. Roast the mushrooms until golden brown and tender, about 15 minutes, stirring once halfway through cooking. Roast the shallots until soft and lightly browned, 25 to 30 minutes, stirring once halfway through cooking. Trim off and discard the root ends of 2 of the roasted shallots and place them to a food processor. Cover the remaining shallots and the mushrooms with aluminum foil.

Add the remaining 5 Tbs. olive oil, the remaining 1/2 tsp. thyme, the vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, the remaining 1/2 tsp. salt and several grinds of pepper to the food processor. Process until a smooth dressing forms, about 30 seconds. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper.

Thinly slice the remaining 2 roasted shallots. In a large bowl, toss together the radicchio, lettuce, parsley, 2 pinches of salt and several grinds of pepper. Drizzle with about two-thirds of the dressing and toss again. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper.

Divide the greens among individual plates. Top each serving with an equal amount of the warm mushrooms and sliced shallots, and drizzle with some of the remaining dressing. Serve immediately. Serves 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma New Flavors for Salads, by Dina Cheney (Oxmoor House, 2009).