Warm Kale and Caramelized Wild Mushroom Salad

Warm Kale and Caramelized Wild Mushroom Salad

Mushrooms are incredibly versatile. Here, we sauté them until deeply golden brown, then pair their savory flavor with hearty kale leaves and a nutty sherry vinegar dressing. It’s an easy vegetarian meal in a bowl.

Note: This article is from our series on Serious Eats. You can find this salad, and other great recipes there as well.

When you cook as a couple, you have to constantly deal with what each person does and doesn’t like to eat. One of us (Matt) loves mushrooms, though, admittedly, mostly fried up English-style for breakfast; the other (Emily) used to dislike them, finding them to be either chewy, slimy, rubbery, or otherwise unappetizing.

We eventually realized that the problem wasn’t with the mushrooms, it was how we’d been cooking them. We’d been treating mushrooms like most other vegetables, when we really should’ve been cooking them like meat. By searing mushrooms until deeply browned, you can bring out their earthy, meaty, umami-packed flavor, while their interiors remain tender and juicy. Now, we have no conflict—we both love mushrooms and work them into our meals all the time. Here, we toss them with baby kale and a flavorful sherry vinaigrette to make an easy, filling salad.

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Creamy Mushroom Risotto with Crispy Sage (and Sausage)

Creamy Mushroom Risotto with Crispy Sage (and Sausage)
Creamy Mushroom Risotto with Crispy Sage (and Sausage)

I’m not sure why but I used to think of risotto as a big complicated project. Somehow I got it in my head that you absolutely must make your own stock and add it a thimbleful at a time and stir and stir and stir and if you stop stirring for even a second, the whole thing turns to garbage.

None of that is true.

While it is true that the better the stock is, the better your risotto will be, there are a lot of ways to impart flavor into the dish using simple, everyday ingredients.

And while I’ve never had great results from simply pouring in all the stock at once, the process is a lot less delicate and precise than you might think.

The rice itself should take less than 20 minutes to go from raw to beautifully creamy and al dente. Even including the time it takes to cook the mushrooms, that’s well within the realm of an easy weeknight dinner.

Creamy Mushroom Risotto with Crispy Sage
The crispy sage adds a great flavor and texture. For a VEGETARIAN version, use good vegetable stock. Look for note below on tips for making a VEGAN version.

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