Josiah Citrin is one of a dozen or so chefs who, without fail, pace stalls at the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market every Wednesday. “I’ve been going for probably 30 years,” he says. “In my twenties I’d ride my bike over and pick up tomatoes, eggs, and sourdough bread after surfing.” Citrin’s new cookbook, In Pursuit of Excellence, stars this wild mushroom salad with oeuf mollet, garlic croutons, and a lemon-mushroom vinaigrette. “You can sub in any mushrooms that look good at the market, so it works in any season.”
This is a diversion from the classic French salad of lardons, poached egg, and frisée. Here the mushrooms replace the bacon and the Mushroom Stock replaces the bacon fat in the vinaigrette to yield a delicious earthy salad without the guilt. You may want to cook additional eggs in case they break while peeling.
4 ounces chanterelle mushrooms
4 ounces porcini mushrooms
4 ounces king oyster mushrooms
4 ounces portobello mushrooms
4 ounces shiitake mushrooms
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt to taste
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup Mushroom Stock (see below), reduced to 1/4 cup and chilled
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper
3/4 cup grapeseed oil
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
6 cloves garlic, germ removed, chopped
1 cup diced sourdough bread
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
6 organic farm fresh eggs (at room temperature)
4 cups baby Italian frisée, stems removed, green trimmed, washed and dried well
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
1 shallot, cut into brunoise
2 Roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and diced
4 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano, shaved into strips
Fleur de sel and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
*See where Citrin shops for many of the ingredient in this recipe at the famers’ market below
1. Peel the stems of the chanterelles with a vegetable peeler. Fill one bowl with warm water and another bowl with ice-cold water. Put the chanterelles in a strainer or colander that fits into the bowls. Dip the chanterelles in the warm water for a few seconds and then in the cold water for a few seconds. Repeat this process five or six times—the warm water releases the dirt from the chanterelles and the cold water keeps them firm. It is important to wash chanterelles thoroughly because dirt gets in the ridges. Dry the chanterelles gently but well.
2. Peel the stems of the porcinis and separate from the caps. Use a damp towel to wipe the caps clean. Cut the stems into 1/2-inch dice, and slice the caps in 1/16-inch slices. Do the same with the king oyster mushrooms.
3. Remove the stems from the portobello and shiitake mushrooms. Wipe clean with a damp towel. Cut the mushrooms into 1/4-inch dice.
4. Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, then add the porcini mushrooms. Sauté the mushrooms slowly until they caramelize. Season with sea salt and transfer to a plate. Repeat the process with each of the mushrooms. Let the mushrooms cool. Once cool, mix them together. Store covered in the refrigerator.
(Yields 2 quarts)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 clove Triple Blanched Garlic (see below)
4 medium shallots, thinly sliced
3 pounds button mushrooms, thinly sliced
4 cups wild mushroom trimmings, such as black trumpets, chanterelles, porcini, etc. (optional)
3 frozen porcini mushrooms (defrosted and cut in half)
3 slices dried porcini mushrooms
1½ cups Madeira wine
5 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
3 quarts water
1. In a large stock pot, combine the butter, garlic, and shallots and place over medium-high heat. Sweat the garlic and shallots for about 5 minutes, stirring often with a wooden spoon.
2. Add half of the mushrooms, season very lightly with sea salt and sweat for another 5 minutes.
3. Add the Madeira, thyme, and bay leaf. Reduce the Madeira by half.
4. Add the rest of the mushrooms and the water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.
5. Strain the stock through a China cap, pushing all the juices out of the mushrooms with a ladle. You will yield around 4 quarts.
6. Reduce the strained mushroom stock by half (about 40 minutes).
7. Strain through a chinois lined with cheesecloth into a stainless steel bowl, then set that bowl over a bowl of ice and stir to chill.
This can be stored for up to 4 days in the refrigerator or split into ½-cup portions and stored in the freezer for up to 2 months. If freezing, freeze immediately.
TRIPLE BLANCHED GARLIC
1 cup fresh peeled garlic
1. Put the garlic in a saucepot and cover with cold water. Bring the garlic to a boil over high heat. When the garlic boils, strain out the liquid and run the garlic under cold water to cool. Repeat the process two more times. The garlic can be kept in a covered container and refrigerated for 4 to 5 days.
2. In a large stockpot, combine the butter, garlic, and shallots, and place over medium-high heat. Sweat the garlic and shallots for about 5 minutes, stirring often with a wooden spoon. Add half of the mushrooms, season very lightly with sea salt, and sweat for another 5 minutes. Add the Madeira, thyme, and bay leaf. Reduce the Madeira by half. Add the rest of the mushrooms and the water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain the stock through a China cap, pushing all the juices out of the mushrooms with a ladle. You will yield around 4 quarts. Reduce the strained mushroom stock by half (about 40 minutes). Strain through a chinois lined with cheesecloth into a stainless steel bowl, then set that bowl over a bowl of ice and stir to chill.
3. This can be stored for up to 4 days in the refrigerator or split into ½-cup portions and stored in the freezer for up to 2 months. If freezing, freeze immediately.
In a jar with a tight-fitting lid (a pasta sauce jar works well), combine the lemon juice, Mushroom Stock, sea salt, and freshly cracked black pepper. Close the jar and shake well. Add the grapeseed oil and shake again. Add the extra virgin olive oil and shake again. Shake well before each use.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a small saucepan, melt the butter with the garlic. Once the butter is melted, turn off the heat and allow the garlic to infuse for 15 minutes. Put the diced bread in a bowl and strain the butter over the bread. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and toss well. Spread the cubes on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake until crisp and golden.
1. Gently put the eggs in a large pot of rapidly boiling salted water and boil for 6 minutes. Shock the eggs in an ice water bath to cool them. Let the eggs cool for at least 30 minutes in the ice water. Carefully peel the eggs, rinse under cold water, and dry well. Keep the eggs at room temperature
2. Put the frisée, parsley, chives, shallot, tomatoes, and Garlic Croutons in a bowl. Heat a large skillet over high heat, add the mushrooms, and sauté for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally and adjusting the seasoning to taste. Add the mushrooms to the salad and mix. Dress lightly with the Lemon-Mushroom Vinaigrette. Toss the salad well.
Form a stack of salad in the middle of six 10-inch dinner plates. Cut the top of the eggs so that you can remove the tops and see the yolks. Season the yolks with fleur de sel and freshly cracked black pepper. Nestle an egg in the middle of each salad, and garnish each salad with three pieces of shaved Parmesan.
*Citrin’s Market Shopping List
20 ounces mixed mushrooms (chanterelles, porcini, etc.)
From: Clearwater Farms (Santa Monica)
1 lemon for juicing
From: J.J.’s Lone Daughter Ranch (Hollywood)
Photograph by Cedric Angeles