Kale and Warm Mushroom Salad

Sure, I think of many salads as “summer salads” but rarely do I consider anything as a winter salad. So when I found a roundup of, specifically, winter salads, I was intrigued. I earmarked a few and was excited to have an opportunity to make one just about a week later. We had a dinner guest who is a pescatarian and I knew a hearty seasonal salad would be right up her alley. This salad has just a few ingredients, but feels rather hearty. Serve it up with a beautiful piece of roasted salmon and you have the perfect meal for a health-minded eater that I’m happy to say doesn’t skimp at all on flavor.

Start by browning one pound of mixed mushrooms (I used cremini and shitake) in a couple tbsp olive oil for about 10 minutes. Lower the heat and stir in 1 tbsp butter and two thinly sliced shallots. Cook for another few minutes until the shallots have softened. Add 1/4 c. dry sherry and cook down until the liquid has evaporated – don’t worry if you don’t have this. I didn’t have any sherry and it still tasted great. Meanwhile, mix up the dressing in a small bowl by whisking together 1/4 c. plus 2 tablespoons olive oil with 3 tbsp sherry vinegar (I used champagne vinegar), 2 tsp dijon mustard, 2 tsp honey, and salt and pepper. In a large serving bowl, toss 4 c. baby kale with the dressing to coat. Add the warm mushrooms and toss again. Finally, top with crumbled goat cheese.

Mushrooms and goat cheese are a great pairing and using a mix of mushrooms ensures this doesn’t come off as a one-note dish even though there are so few ingredients. I’m not really into kale and may have said 12 times “I can’t believe I’m liking all this kale!” My Mom even said this was a kale salad even my Dad would eat. It also has to be said that this salad keeps extraordinarily well. It was near perfect [fully dressed] two days later.