Fall Salad

Hi, I am back in my kitchen and boy did I miss it! Is it a good habit or addiction? is it just fun or is it passion? I don't really know but I sure missed being in control of what lands on my plate even though we ate really well in the the land of the free! I was 16 days away from home and when I got back I couldn't wait to get rid of the suitcase. 11 planes and 7 different hotels and no kitchen! The most amazing thing was how quite my home felt ... so absolutely quite. Well sleeping on planes and in NY where streets are getting repaired during sleeping hours makes anything appear peaceful and tranquil. I ordered vegetarian for my flights, once it was even named Hindu and so I started dreaming of salads that would be healthy fresh and tasty and here is my favorite. I am sure you will love this one just like we did and let me know how it turned out for you!

New York presented itself with sunshine and warm temperatures and the colors were all at their peak just gorgeous and so the New Englanders call it Indian summer. The light was amazing especially during mornings and late afternoons. Julian took a trillion of photos and we had the time of our lives up in the air with FLYNYON and no doors! 

autumn mood

Here we have beautiful weather as well, frost in the mornings and warm sunshine during the days. Stunning scenery for any movie.

Some beautiful mushrooms all cuddled next to each other having a party but their colors warn us not to eat them.

In the Traditional Chinese Medicine we should eat now lots of protein from vegetables, nuts and ginger. Oyster mushroom, shiitake and easy digestible meals, eat simple not too divers foods in order to prepare the body for the coming winter season. Do-Jo they call the transition we are in right now.

Shitake salad
Office lunch

This recipe is so perfect to prepare ahead of time and if you need a healthy lunch during your office hours bring everything in separate containers and assemble fresh. That said it must be easy to bring to a potluck as well. All you got to to do is done in 4 steps.

1. precook the durum wheat and let cool
2 caramelize the pecans they keep fresh at room temperature for at least 3 weeks in an airtight container.
3. Roast the shiitake mushrooms
4. Wash the salad, mix the dressing and assemble your autumn 'wellbeing' (airplane menu lingo)  salad

Print recipe

Preparation time: 30
Oven: 20 min | 180°C
Cooking time: 10
Roasting time: 5

You need

250g durum wheat (‘Ebly’ in Austria)
120g pecans

80g dark honey
2 knive tips berbere (an Ethiopian spice mix) or chili flakes
I tbsp water

250g oyster mushrooms
200g shiitake mushrooms
100g pomegranate seeds, optional
coarse sea salt

2 tbsp. soy sauce
100ml | ½  cup Ninben shiro dashi

Greens such as fresh spinach or salad, cilantro, red chicory works wonderful with the sweetness of the pecans.

Mix the honey with the berbere spice add a little water so you just get a nice paste, add the pecans and coat them well by stirring gently: distribute them on the baking tray lined with parchment paper and caramelize them in the oven at 180°C for not more then 20 min. When you take them out you will have hot bubbly honey and the pecans kind of swimming in it. Take a new parchment paper and transfer them with two forks or a thong immediately to the clean paper, they harden very quickly once they cool. It’s a sticky job for sure but worth it!

Cook the grain as directed on the box, in water with a little salt added. Let cool, this can be done days ahead; it keeps well in the fridge.
Cut the mushrooms in junky bites and roast them on medium heat in a pan with some olive oil. Make sure you first roast the shiitake and add the oyster mushrooms after 3 min for another 2-3min, they are delicate and do not need too much heat.  Let cool.

Stir the dressing over the wheat and marinate it.  Stir in the pomegranate seeds. Place first the wheat on your plate, top with the mushrooms and the greens on the side, then the pecans, sprinkle some coarse sea salt over the mushrooms and enjoy.

meal finished