Recipe: Warm Arugula Salad with Sauteed Shitake Mushrooms

I found some gorgeous shitake mushrooms at the farmer’s market and they inspired me to make what turned out to be a fabulous summer salad. I simply sautéed them with a couple of shallots and a few garlic cloves, added a splash of wine and some tarragon.

Then I tossed the hot mixture over a bed of arugula with a bit of good Parmesan cheese and some vinaigrette – easy and delicious.

It’s best not to eat raw mushrooms because their cell walls are tough and in order to absorb the protein, B-vitamins and minerals and the compounds that boost the immune system – they gotta be cooked!

Cooking not only releases the nutrients, but since mushrooms contain small amounts of toxins, some of which are carcinogens, cooking destroys them too. I try to eat mushrooms at least twice a week. Just make sure they’re cooked!

1 bag arugula
3-4 cups shitake mushrooms, sliced
1 medium onion or two small shallots, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
Splash white wine, optional
3 tablespoons fresh tarragon, optional
1/3 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
Olive oil, about ¼ cup
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
Salt and pepper

1. In a cast iron or other skillet, heat olive oil and add the onions, sautéing till beginning to turn translucent, about 2 minutes.
2. Add sliced mushrooms and sauté till tender, adding a few tablespoons white wine if more liquid is needed. Reduce till liquid is absorbed.
3. Place arugula in a large salad bowl. When you’re ready to serve, add the warm mushrooms, Parmesan cheese and the tarragon. Toss with a drizzle of olive oil and the juice of one freshly squeezed lemon. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

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