Victor Protasio
Active Time
1 HR 15 MIN
Total Time
1 HR 35 MIN
Yield
Serves : 4 to 6

Inspired by a salad that his mother made every year for the holidays, chef Taylor Thornhill, of Bateau in Seattle, calls this recipe the “pantry salad.” It can lean on a well-stocked refrigerator, coming together in minutes or, with some quick pickling, about an hour, making it perfect for weeknight dinners or effortless dinner parties. A combination of jarred preserved vegetables, creamy canned chickpeas, and quick-pickled mushrooms bring sweet, hearty, earthy flavor to balance the milky mozzarella and rich diced salami. Little Gem lettuce cups essential here; they ground the acidic, spicy flavors of the salad and add a hydrating crunch. Thornhill also encourages home cooks to take creative license as the seasons, and pantry shelves, change. Try swapping aged provolone for the mozzarella or cauliflower or romanesco for the dilly beans.

How to Make It

Step 1    Make the marinated mushrooms

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add half of the mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and slightly softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid starts to seep out of mushrooms and a paring knife inserted in stem meets some resistance, about 3 minutes. Transfer mushrooms to a plate. Repeat procedure with remaining 2 tablespoons oil, remaining half of mushrooms, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Step 2    

Return all mushrooms to skillet over medium-high, and cook, stirring often, until mushrooms have released most of their moisture, about 4 minutes. Stir in wine and vinegar. Bring to a boil over high. Boil, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced by slightly more than half, 10 to 12 minutes. Season with remaining 1 teaspoon salt or to taste. Transfer mixture to a large bowl; refrigerate, uncovered, until cool, about 30 minutes. Drain mushrooms before using; discard liquid.

Step 3    Make the vinaigrette

Combine vinegar, Dijon, garlic, nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper in a blender. Process on high speed until blended, about 5 seconds. With blender running on medium speed, pour olive oil through center opening in a slow, steady stream, processing until creamy and smooth, about 40 seconds.

Step 4    Make the salad

Toss together drained marinated mushrooms, chickpeas, salami, mozzarella, and 1/2 cup vinaigrette in a large bowl. Season with salt. Stack lettuce leaves as needed to form cups, and divide evenly among 4 to 6 plates. Spoon mushroom mixture into lettuce cups; drizzle 2 tablespoons vinaigrette over each. Top salads evenly with pickled carrots, dilly beans, and red onions.

Make Ahead

Mushrooms may be marinated up to 4 days in advance; store covered and chilled in pickling liquid.

Notes

PICKLED RED ONIONS
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced red onion
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoon kosher salt

Place onion in a medium-size heatproof glass bowl or jar, and set aside. Bring 1/2 cup water, vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, and salt to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-high, whisking occasionally, until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, and pour over onion, pressing onion to submerge in pickling liquid. Let cool; cover and chill until ready to use.

Serve With

Bright, red-fruited Barbera d’Asti.

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