Umami Mushroom salad
umamimushrooms

I found the inspiration for this recipe after going to Little Serow in DC. 

Have you been? 

It made Bon Appetite's Top 10 Restaurants list

The Chef, Johnny Monis, won James Beard's Best Mid Atlantic Chef award

It is consistently on the top of the Washingtonian's Annual 100 Very Best Restaurants list

And, it humbly took home the #1 spot of GQ's Most Outstanding Restaurant of 2013

So what is all the hype about? Could it actually live up to all its titles? 

The short answer, for the food, the atmosphere and the price ($49/person) most definitely. It is something you should take a fellow foodie friend to as it is all shared plates. Your "I would prefer a big mac" friend is not going to be happy here. The food is spicy. Very, very spicy. I am somewhat biased as I am not a huge fan of extremely spicy food and in some of the dishes, at least for my palate, it over powered the taste of the food which was sad and upsetting. 

The last two courses although, where they toned the spice down to more palatable levels, were perfection. They were sweet and salty- but still had a fresh element to make you remember that there are other flavors than just fat and salt that can make you fall in love with food. 

To be more specific, it was the sauteed mushroom salad that I loved. The mushrooms were cooked perfectly, nice and crispy with a juicy bite. There were fresh elements of basil, while a salty sauce the mushrooms had been cooked in and crushed peanuts added an umami component. A poached egg crowned it all,  that once pierced, let its deep yellow yolk become a creamy dressing. I could have just eaten that for dinner and been happy. 

But then the pork ribs came out... 

Okay, enough taste spotting and onto my recipe. It really quite simple and I threw it together lightly based off the dish but due to my lack of missing some key ingredients I made most of it up ad-hoc. I think it took home the same idea though of the three essential components; sweet, nutty, and creamy. 

 Ingredients

  • 1 package gourmet mushrooms (porchini, cremini, oyster) 
  • 2 tbsp olive oil 
  • 1/2 tsp truffle salt (can sub 1 tbsp soy sauce, fish sauce, or miso) 
  • 2 tbsp crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (or roasted salted peanuts)
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves (can substitute basil leaves)
  • 1 poached egg

Method 

  1. Wash and pat dry the mushrooms with a clean towel. 
  2. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil to a saute pan over medium heath and swirl to coat. Once warm and the oil sizzles when a drop of water is added, Add mushrooms and cook. They will first saute, then release their juices. Continue to cook, sprinkle with the truffle salt or soy sauce until all the juices have evaporated. Add a little more oil to the pan once and all the juices have evaporated and cook until deep golden brown on both sides. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. 
  3. Place mushrooms, pine nuts, cilanto and goat cheese in a bowl and toss to combine. Top with the poached egg and a crack of fresh pepper.