Did you know that you can eat raw mushrooms?! This was news to me, and it kinda felt like a huge revelation. It’s got me looking at mushrooms in a whole new way.
I had a lovely salad at a restaurant here in Bra called Osteria Murivecchi last week that consisted of raw mushrooms, endive, pancetta and shreds of Grana Padano. Initially, when I ordered the starter, I assumed that the mushrooms would be cooked and marinated, so I was a little surprised to see a plate of white uncooked mushrooms placed in front of me.
That said, the earthiness and added bite of raw mushroom was actually kinda awesome. It felt a little wrong at first but after the first bite I was obsessed and I knew I'd have to make my own raw mushroom salad soon.
Borrowing the concept from my beloved Murivecchi, this recipe takes a few creative twists and turns, starting with the addition of blu di bufala instead of Grana. A tasty raw milk cheese made from buffalo milk and aged til ribbons of silvery blue mold speckle the cheese just right, this has become one of my favourite cheeses that I discovered here in Bra. It adds a little something extra to this salad and works amazing with the bitterness of the endive.
But, who would Little Miss Honey & Truffles be if I didn’t add a bit of sweetness? To complement the earthiness of the raw mushroom, I decided to use a honey from Mieli Thun that is actually forest-inspired. With warm and vegetal notes, this dark brown honey is a match made in heaven with mushrooms!
While I will leave foraging to the experts, I will be making raw mushrooms (from the market) a regular in my summer diet. This warm weather has me sweating already but I know that cold salads are definitely going to be my friends all summer long!
This recipe makes two hearty lunch portions, which can translate to four servings when used as a side dish!
Give this raw salad a shot and let me know what you think. Believe me, when I say that I was skeptical about what the Italians were doing at first. But, just like carne cruda, you gotta take a leap of faith—it works!
. . .
Raw Mushroom & Endive Salad
* Makes 2 servings *
2 heads endive, roughly chopped
1 cup raw mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/2 cup blue cheese, crumbled (I used blu di bufala)
3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (I like Tuscan olive oil because it has a spicy bite!)
1 tablespoon wine vinegar
1 teaspoon grain mustard
1 teaspoon honey (I used Mieli Thun’s Bosco)
1 teaspoon of herbes de provence
Pinch of salt and cracked pepper
Mix endive and mushrooms together in a large bowl.
In a mason jar, add oil, vinegar, mustard, honey, herbs, salt and pepper and shake.
When ready to serve, pour dressing over salad and toss until well combined.
Top with crumbled blue cheese and enjoy with a piece of fresh focaccia or a glass of Cascina Rainero’s Barbarossa!