Warm and tender mushroom “scallops,” sharp and tangy grapefruit, earthy sumac, and sweet basil all play together harmoniously in this first-course salad.
Revive any wilted salad greens by dunking them in a bowl of ice water for about 5 to 10 minutes. Drain and either spin dry in a salad spinner or pat dry with a clean kitchen towel.
4 king oyster mushrooms
3 cups (750 mL) hot water
3 Tbsp (45 mL) unseasoned rice vinegar
2 Tbsp (30 mL) white wine vinegar
3 red grapefruits
1 Tbsp (15 mL) maple syrup
Pinch of chili flakes
2 Tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) sumac
1/4 tsp (1 mL) Himalayan salt
1 Tbsp (15 mL) grapeseed oil
2 fresh thyme sprigs
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/3 cup (80 mL) very thinly sliced red onion
1 cup (250 mL) radicchio, torn into bite-sized pieces
1 cup (250 mL) watercress or baby arugula leaves
1 cup (250 mL) baby spinach leaves
1/4 cup (60 mL) fresh basil leaves
2 Tbsp (30 mL) chopped pistachios
Trim tops and woody bottoms of mushrooms leaving the solid part of stems. Save tops for Vegetable Bourguignon recipe or another use. Cut mushroom stems into medallions about 1 in (2.5 cm) thick and set aside. You should have about 12 “scallops.”
In large bowl, stir together hot water and vinegars. Add mushroom “scallops” to vinegar mixture and place small bowl or plate over mushrooms to ensure they stay submerged. Set aside for 30 minutes at room temperature.
Meanwhile, using a paring knife, peel 2 grapefruits, removing skin and white pith. Place fine-mesh sieve over bowl. Cut between membranes of grapefruit flesh to make individual segments and let them fall into sieve, allowing bowl to catch any excess juice. Squeeze any remaining juices through sieve. Juice remaining grapefruit through sieve as well. Remove and discard any pits, transfer grapefruit segments to large bowl, and pour grapefruit juice into small saucepan.
Place saucepan containing grapefruit juice over medium heat. Add maple syrup and chili and bring mixture to a simmer, stirring often. Allow sauce to simmer and reduce until it has thickened and there is about 1/3 cup (80 mL) left. Set aside to cool to room temperature. Whisk in oil, lemon juice, sumac, and salt.
Heat grapeseed oil and thyme in large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Pat mushrooms dry with paper towel before adding to skillet. Cook until browned, about 4 to 6 minutes. Just before turning over, season with fresh ground pepper. Continue cooking until second side is golden brown, about another 4 to 6 minutes. Season again with pepper and remove to plate and keep warm while preparing the salad.
To bowl with grapefruit segments, add onion, radicchio, watercress or arugula, spinach, and basil. Pour half of the dressing overtop and toss very gently. Save remaining dressing for another use. Divide salad among serving plates. Top with warm mushroom “scallops” and garnish with pistachios. Serve immediately.