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I made this salad with two different dressings—first with a balsamic dressing, and then the next day, with my garlicky mustard dressing. I preferred the mustard dressing because it is a little milder, and didn’t overpower the delicate flavor of the roasted mushrooms. If you want, you could add some toasted pine nuts, as well, but I loved it just with a big pile of mushrooms. You can toss the mushrooms in the roasted garlic oil, or just use the simpler version with raw garlic (both recipes are included, below). If you already have the garlic oil and mustard dressing in the ‘fridge (I almost always do.), this recipe is very quick to make. I make it a habit never to run out of that mustard dressing. You can even freeze pint jars of the dressing if you want to make a double batch. (I always do.)
large bowl of spinach leaves
garlicky mustard red wine vinaigrette (recipe follows)
roasted mushrooms (recipe follows)
toasted pine nuts (optional—toast them in a small skillet over medium heat until golden brown)
1. Toss the spinach with vinaigrette to your taste.
2. Scoop the dressed spinach into individual bowls. Top each bowl with roasted mushrooms and a sprinkle of pine nuts, if desired.
garlicky mustard red wine vinaigrette
6 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
4 medium cloves garlic, chopped coarsely
1 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
1 tablespoon honey
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Put first 5 ingredients in a blender and blend until completely smooth. Slowly pour in oil to make a creamy emulsion. Taste and season with more salt and/or honey.
1 pound oyster mushrooms (or other mushrooms)
2 tablespoons garlic oil (either of the two versions, below)
¼ teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and coat a heavy rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
2. Slice the mushrooms into ½-inch slices, cutting off the ends of any particularly large stems.
3. Toss the mushroom slices with the the oil and salt and spread out in a single layer on the baking sheet. If they don’t fit in a single layer, use an additional baking sheet, because they will steam instead of roast if they aren’t directly on the sheet.
4. Roast for 10 minutes, remove from the oven and flip them all around with a spatula. If they are brown and crispy in places, and completely tender, they are done, but if not, continue roasting until browned and perfect. (See the photograph on the website if you like.)
olive oil infused with roasted garlic
several heads of garlic, cloves peeled
olive oil (you don’t need extra-virgin olive oil for this—the garlic imparts so much flavor that you can use regular olive oil)
1. Put all the whole peeled garlic cloves in a heavy pot. Cover the garlic cloves completely with olive oil.
2. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Give the garlic a stir, and then turn the heat down to the absolute lowest possible heat, cover the pot, and simmer just at a bare bubble. Stir the garlic occasionally and continue to cook until the garlic cloves are completely soft and tender, and you can easily squish them against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon. This will probably take an hour or more, but check after 45 minutes.
3. Uncover the pot and let cool. Strain the garlic from the oil. This garlic can be used in any recipe that calls for roasted garlic (for example, in the Southwest Caesar Salad, or in the Hummus in the cookbook or on the website). If you make a soup or a stew that needs a little extra pizzaz, just scoop out a few cloves, mash them with a fork, and add them to your dish to really pump up the flavor. You can freeze the garlic indefinitely (I keep it in pint-sized canning jars in the freezer), and just take it out when you need it.
3-4 cloves of garlic, peeled
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1. Mash or mince the garlic cloves and cover with the olive oil. Let steep for 30 minutes if you have time.
2. Strain out the garlic and store the oil in the refrigerator.