Many of you guys probably know by now that hiking is one of Hubby’s and my favorite outdoorsy things to do all year round. Just in case that’s not your cup of tea in general, I won’t bore you guys with a tree-hugging back-to-nature kind of speech, I’ll just tell the foodie within you a little secret: if you find yourself in an inspirational lull when it comes to food, go out for a hike.
Once you take a closer look at her, mother nature will undoubtedly provide you with a seasonal and regional idea or two that will tickle your tastebuds in all the right places – maybe even fire up just the right neurons to unscramble the others and get the inspirational flow going again. Today’s dish was the result of exactly that kind of hike a couple of years back and after a very recent hike in the same area I’m able to confirm: it still perfectly mirrors what our forests “taste” like during late October~
Here’s my edible, easy-breezy quick fix salad, summing up the season on a plate about 5 mins after you returned home from a long hike~! These amounts will net you 2 generous dinnertime-salad servings.
The Maple Syrup Vinaigrette
1 Unwaxed Orange, Juice and Zest
1 Tbsp Grainy Mustard
2 Tbsp Walnut Oil
3 Tbsp Maple Syrup
3 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
1 Careful Pinch of Dried Lovage
1 Tsp Thyme Leaves
½ Tsp Dried Savory
Salt, Pepper to taste
1) Place all of the above in a jam jar or small bowl.
2) Shake or whisk the lot until the ingredients are well combined.
The Wild Mushroom & Duck Salad
200g Mixed Lettuce Leaves
1 Bunch of Chives, finely chopped
1 Bunch of Parsley, finely chopped
200g Porcini Mushrooms – or a very carefully sorted-though pile of the mushrooms you’ve collected during your hike…
2 Shallots, very finely chopped
200g Smoked or Cured Duck Breast, thinly sliced
100g Chestnuts, precooked or roasted, shelled and thinly sliced or quartered
1 Tbsp Butter
Salt, Pepper, Nutmeg and dried Lovage to taste
1) Place a heavy-based pan on medium-high heat.
2) Once it’s at its max temperature, add the butter and allow it to melt before sending the shallots, mushrooms and chestnuts after it.
3) Season the lot and give the contents of your pan a good flip to distribute the seasoning evenly.
4) While the shrooms are sizzling to perfection, distribute the leaves, chives, duck slices and generous amounts of preserved lingonberries on two large plates.
5) Once the mushrooms are cooked to the point you like best – roughly 3-4 mins with thinly sliced porcinis – add the parsley, give the lot another toss and divvy the contents of your pan onto the waiting salad beds.
6) Drizzle the servings with the dressing and…