The deeply caramelized, nearly charred warm mushrooms soften the bitter leaves under their heat. This simple salad comes together quickly particularly if you’ve taken the time to prepare the vinaigrette back at home. If not, it’s easily done in the woods with the help of a knife and cutting board or simply dress with olive oil and a splash of sherry vinegar.
You’ll notice in the episode that I sauté some of the friseé leaves. The dark leaves that rim the bottom of the frilly head of friseé can tend to be quite bitter and even a little tough. A quick, hot dip in the cast iron skillet intensifies the sweetness and tames the tough bite.
4 cups friseé, washed
1 small head Treviso, leaves separated and washed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 ounces assorted mushrooms
2 garlic cloves
1 1/2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
Shallot Vinaigrette (recipe below)
Add the friseé and treviso to a large bowl. If there are any large, dark green friseé exterior leaves remove those and set aside. Those tend to be a bit bitter and tough and can handle a quick sauté.
Set a large cast iron skillet over hot coals or on a grill grate set over low flames. Add the butter and melt. Add the mushrooms. Leave undisturbed for a couple of minutes to establish deep caramelization. Stir the mushrooms then leave undisturbed again until nearly copper in color. Add a hefty pinch of sea salt and stir in the garlic. Sauté for a couple minutes more. Carefully tip in the sherry vinegar then continue to cook until all the liquid has evaporated.
If you have any friseé leaves that you’ve set aside add those to the hot pan for about 30 seconds just to soften and tame some of the bitterness.
Toss the greens in enough vinaigrette to generously coat then transfer the salad to a platter. Top with the hot mushrooms.