This mushroom and arugula salad with goat cheese, toasted walnuts and celery, tossed in shallot mustard and truffle oil vinaigrette is simply bursting with earthy fall flavors and is super delicious and satisfying.
It doesn’t feel like fall yet, around here. It feels more like we’re in the middle of July, and I couldn’t be happier, of course. We’ve been basking in this gorgeously hot weather for the past couple of weeks, and I wish it keeps like this a little longer.
I know it’s not fair (for those living in Boston maybe), but I couldn’t help bragging a bit, as I just feel so happy, and grateful – as if we are given a second chance (before fall starts for real).
It’s just a wonderful time of the year, brimming with all sorts of activities and happenings, and you can feel the hustle and joy bubbling up in the air. September is considered the unofficial San Francisco’s summer, and the tourist season is in its peak. It’s also harvest season in Napa, and wineries are coming up with irresistible wine tasting offers and special events. We are attending fall fests and carnivals, and it’s definitely a contagious spirit. Plus, we’re heading straight into pumpkin patch season which brings another wave of excitement! Fall produce is creeping up at the heels of the last summer fruits and veggies, and for a short while we can enjoy tomatoes and peaches, next to squashes and apples. It’s this in-between-seasons time of the year, when I think, we have the best of both worlds.
Naturally, I don’t feel like cooking something hearty and substantial so for the time being, I will share one of my favorite salads – mushroom and arugula salad with goat cheese, roasted walnuts, celery, and shallot mustard dressing. It’s absolutely delicious, and one of those tried-and-true recipes I make over and over. It has that warm and cozy fall-ish vibe going on, tastes amazing and will leave you full and satisfied. I love the spicy flavor of arugula and I think it’s the perfect canvas for the cooked peppery mushrooms whose strong earthy flavor goes unmatched with the soft goat cheese. It has a nice crunch from the toasted walnuts and celery, and the mild shallot mustard and truffle oil dressing really rounds off the flavors. You must try!
It’s also filling without being high in calories, due to the fiber in the mushrooms and celery. The salad pairs well with meat courses, and I often make it for the holidays too. I use regular brown mushrooms here, but if you can find wild varieties, so much the better! The mushrooms are superstars here – not only they are full of protein, and high in vitamin D, they have almost zero calories. You may also want to make a double, or triple batch of the dressing, as it’s great on other salads too.
For another great mushroom recipe, try this mushroom and lentils salad with caramelized onions, or this roasted cauliflower salad with hazelnuts and portobello mushrooms.
- 1 lbs arugula
- 1/2 lbs brown mushrooms
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup toasted, salted walnuts
- 1 cup crumbled goat cheese
- 1/2 shallot, grated finely on a microplane
- 1/2 tsp whole grain, or brown mustard
- 3 Tbs balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- 1 Tbs truffle oil
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
Spread the walnuts on a baking tray, sprinkle with 1-2 Tbs water, and salt, and roast at 300°F for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool.
In a wide pan, heat 2 Tbs olive oil, and add the sliced mushrooms, plus salt and black pepper to taste. Saute until mushrooms are browned and cooked through (10-15 minutes). Set aside to cool.
Make the dressing by grating half a shallot finely (I used a microplane), then mix it with the mustard, black pepper, salt, the balsamic vinegar, and finally slowly add both the olive and truffle oils, while whisking.
Assemble the salad by tossing the arugula lightly with the dressing. Add the mushrooms, and celery, and toss gently one more time. Add the goat cheese and nuts on top, and drizzle a bit of truffle oil, and freshly ground black pepper.