arugula salad with fennel and crispy mushrooms

August 5, 2012

While arugula salad is versatile enough to go a number of different directions, I like the subtle combination of arugula and shaved fennel, with these crispy garlicy baked mushrooms to add flavour and texture. I use maitake which grow in clusters at the base of trees, particularly oaks, and are known in English as hen-of-the-woods, ram’s head, and sheep’s head.  But I like to use the traditional Japanese word maitake because it means “dancing mushroom” which is a lovely image to have in one’s head (and salad).

1/2 cup olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup course bread crumbs

sea salt and pepper

A couple bunches maitake

1 head arugula

1 bulb fennel, very finely sliced

Juice from 1/2 lemon

1/4 cup olive oil

1/8 cup balsamic vinegar

sea salt and pepper

In a mixing bowl, combine olive oil and minced garlic. In a separate mixing bowl, combine bread crumbs and sea salt and pepper. Dip maitake in the olive oil mixture and then dredge in the bread crumbs being sure to let any excess oil drain off the mushrooms before dredging. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes until they are sizzling and golden brown. When done, remove from the oven and let cool.

Meanwhile, wash the arugula and spin dry. Mix with the shaved fennel. Toss both with lemon juice, olive oil, balsamic and a little salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, pile the arugula on a plate and adorn with some maitake. Or if you like the element of surprise, place the maitake on a plate and then cover with a big pile of arugula so these tasty mushroomy morsels are discovered only by digging into your salad. This recipe would be awesome with the addition of some grated parmigiano if you eat cheese. But if you don’t, you’re not missing anything since the maitake are the star of the show.

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One Response to “arugula salad with fennel and crispy mushrooms”


  1. […] took a crispy mushroom salad and with apple crisp and Ben and Jerry’s Vermonster ice cream for dessert. When we picked […]


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