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Warm char-grilled Mushroom Salad with Roasted Butternut squash, Crispy Potato Galette and crème fraîche and green peppercorns

This salad is a feast of flavours and textures and is definitely one for special occasions. The mushrooms are spicy and slightly charred, the squash sweet and the leaves, radish and onions are dressed in a tangy vinaigrette with just a little extra crunch with the honey roasted cashew nuts. I also included the potato galette but is one element that one could leave out without affecting the balance.

Serves 4

  • 300g shitake, oyster and chestnut mushrooms, cleaned
  • 4 large handfuls of baby leaves, well washed
  • Handful of Honey roasted cashews/peanuts
  • 1/2 red onion, finely sliced
  • 200g Butternut squash, finely sliced lengthways into 1/2cm pieces
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 medium potato (150g), peeled and coarsely grated lengthways and all excess water squeezed out
  • 3 red radishes, finely sliced

Dressing

  • 1 tbs. aged cider vinegar, sherry or white wine vinegar
  • 21/2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • scant 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • Salt to taste
  • Pinch of sugar

Tandoori marinade

  • 11/4 tsp. garlic paste
  • 12g ginger, made into a paste strained to get out all the juices
  • 1/2 tsp. red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp. salt to taste
  • 1 good tsp. garam masala
  • 1 tsp. cumin powder
  • 2 tbs. lemon juice
  • 4 tbs. olive oil

Creme fraiche

  • 6 tbs. crème fraîche
  • 3 scant tsp. green peppercorns

Heat the oven to 180C. Mix together all the ingredients for the tandoori marinade. Keep small shitake mushrooms whole as well as oyster mushrooms, halve the others. Toss them in the marinade making sure each piece is coated; leave for 15-30 minutes.

Place the butternut squash in one layer on a baking tray, lightly oiling and seasoning on both sides. Roast until just soft, around 10-12 minutes. Take out and leave to the side.

Meanwhile, season the grated potato lightly. Heat 2 tbs. oil in a large non-stick frying pan and taking around a quarter of the mix, place gently in the frying pan in a flat circular form. Repeat with the rest and cook a gentle flame until golden on both sides and crisp. Remove and place on kitchen roll.

Heat your grill (I use the grill setting of my oven) to high and grill the mushrooms for 8-10 minutes or until lightly charred and cooked through, give them an occasional stir. You can place the squash back in the oven to warm through as the mushrooms grill.

Meanwhile, whisk together the ingredients for the dressing. Taste and adjust the seasoning and tartness to taste. Drizzle a little over the radish.

Stir together the crème fraîche, peppercorns and a little salt.

To plate up, smear middle of the plate with crème fraîche, place squash slices on one side but overlapping the creme a little. On the other side arrange the dressed radish slices in a circular flower shape. Toss the baby leaves lightly in the dressing and place in the center of radish so that you see the edges. Arrange mushrooms over the leaves and scatter over red onions slices and cashews. Place fried galette on the side on the leaves, leaning against them and serve.

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