We're finding that this damp and warm spring is producing a bonanza of oysters. And, what better way to feature them than in Chef John Ash's delightful salad preparation!
Often referred to as the "Father of Wine Country Cooking", Chef Ash has been a part of the American culinary scene for many years, winning awards, authoring cook books (His latest book, Culinary Birds, is scheduled to be published by Perseus Books in the fall of 2013.), consulting with food processors, participating on the Board of Advisors of Seafood Watch at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, hosting radio and television shows on the Food Network, contributing to food magazines ... gosh, this man is busy!
We found these lovely oysters down by the creek.
Wild Mushroom Salad with Fried Capers and Parmesan
Honey Lemon Vinaigrette
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
Wild Mushroom Salad
1-1/2 pounds fresh wild mushrooms, such as oyster or chanterelle, cleaned
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
8 cups loosely packed mesclun or other young greens
Fried capers, for garnish (see NOTE below)
Shaved parmesan or dry jack cheese, for garnish
To make Honey Lemon Vinaigrette:
- Whisk shallots, rice vinegar, honey, lemon juice and olive together. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Makes 1 generous cup.
To make Wild Mushroom Salad:
- If the mushrooms are large, halve them. Otherwise, leave them whole. In a large saute pan, heat olive oil and saute the mushrooms until they are barely tender, 3-4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, set aside and keep warm.
- Lightly toss greens with some of Honey Lemon Vinaigrette and arrange on plates, then top with mushrooms. Spoon a little more the vinaigrette around the edge of the plate. Garnish with fried capers and cheese. Serve immediately.
NOTE: To fry capers, blot 2 tablespoons capers on a paper towel. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the capers and cook until they begin to crisp; many will pop. Remove right away with a slotted spoon and drain on towels again.