Let me start by saying that I’m not typically a fan of raw mushrooms, nor is parsley my favorite herb. On that note, I’m not quite sure what possessed me to want to make this salad —maybe it was the lemon or maybe it was its simplicity that caused an attraction—but I had a feeling about this one. Still, I thought, “Well, how good can a raw mushroom salad be?”. Oh friends, seriously, this is really something special. The lemon adds the most beautiful burst of flavor and softens the mushrooms just a smidge, giving them a delicious texture. The parsley manages to add not only a burst of freshness, but gives the salad some depth of flavor.
I can’t wait to serve this salad at my next dinner party . . . it’s just so surprising, and I *love* surprises! I’d pair it with a crisp glass of your favorite white wine . . . I think a Chardonnay would go lovely here, balancing the acidity of the lemon, and complementing the mushroom’s texture. Serve with a nice sourdough boule or baguette, and life is good!
Now here’s a little mushroom cleaning tip for you . . . don’t directly run them (or dunk them) under running water! There’s much debate about this . . . most chefs will tell you not to, but my adorable little Jacques Pépin says to go right ahead. All that I can say is that personal experience has made me a believer in the no direct water philosophy! The texture is better, and you can get them plenty clean with a damp paper towel or a soft mushroom brush (yes, I have one). Next, you want them sliced thin, and while you can of course use a sharp knife, I find an egg slicer to be invaluable in this task (great for strawberries, too!).
It’s a piece of cake, and I think you’ll really enjoy it! As a bonus, this will hold nicely for several hours in the fridge, too!
Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis
1 pound large button mushrooms, trimmed, cleaned and thinly sliced
1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (I chop it quite fine!)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2-ounce piece Parmesan
In a medium salad bowl, mix together the mushrooms and parsley.
In a small bowl, whisk together the oil and lemon juice until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Add the oil mixture to the salad bowl and toss until all the ingredients are coated. Using a vegetable peeler, shave the Parmesan on top and serve. Um, yeah, it’s that easy!