An Open Cookbook

An Open Cookbook


Fresh Basil and Mushroom Salad

I was power-walking home today, and as I carefully ran across the street, my polka dot umbrella blew itself inside-out. That is quite a tricky situation to maneuver in the midst of crossing a busy street in the rain, while carrying a heavy purse and wearing mittens. Today is one of those Seattle days where the cloud cover is so thick, that it is hard to image the sun is actually shining in other parts of the world. I just want to get indoors as quickly as possible and drink a warm mug of something and put on my slippers. I tend to drink more coffee on days like today, which would explain the other million people doing the same thing. You just crave the warmth of the mug in your hand and the community-based urge to get out of the cold and into the roasted bean-scented havens.

Enough about coffee. I could go on forever. I actually have a true sadness for people who don't drink coffee. I am sure some people feel the same way towards me and my seafood repulsion. But still...

...Back to the blown-out umbrella. I was walking home thinking about my Food Group dinner party happening tomorrow night. It has been months piled on months since we have gotten together and I am so looking forward to seeing everyone. I have a packed schedule up until the party starts, so I took advantage of a two hour window of time tonight to go to the grocery, get ingredients and wine, and prepare my dish. I am still on my mushroom honeymoon. I have been craving garbanzo beans and Great Northern beans the last few days as a result of talking with my vegetarian brother the other night. Last night I made a teriyaki stir fry with garbanzos. So tonight I chose white beans to boost the protein levels of the materializing mushroom salad. A little basil, a little lemon juice, and a few other ingredients and we have ourselves a salad. Now all I have to do is grab my container and hop in my car tomorrow. I will wear a hood.

Fresh Basil and Mushroom Salad
Makes about 6 cups

Definitely (and carefully) use a mandoline to cut the mushrooms if you have one. If not, thinly slicing with a sharp knife will be just fine too. The fresh basil gives the mushrooms and beans a nice refreshing hint. Serve alongside a fried egg or chicken sausage. Or bring to a potluck. It will surely fit in with everyone.

20 fresh basil leaves, cut into thin ribbons
1 garlic clove, minced
2 lemons, juiced
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 can Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
10 crimini mushrooms, very thinly sliced

Whisk the basil, garlic, lemon juice, mustard, salt, and pepper together in a bowl. Slowly drizzle olive oil into the mixture while simultaneously whisking. This will form an emulsion. Toss the dressing in with the beans and mushrooms.

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