Spinach Salad with Candied Shiitake Mushrooms

Recipe courtesy of Chef Gary Donlick, Pano’s & Paul’s, Atlanta


Yield: 24 portions


12 slices smoked bacon
3/4 cup minced ginger
1/2 cup minced garlic
3 pounds baby spinach, well rinsed
3 pounds trimmed watercress, well rinsed

Candied Shiitake Mushrooms
4 cups teriyaki sauce
1 cup rice wine vinegar
1 cup honey
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 pound stemmed shiitake mushrooms


To make the mushrooms: Mix the teriyaki sauce, rice wine vinegar, and honey together. Heat the sesame oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook to brown slightly, stirring constantly. Add the teriyaki mixture to the pan and bring to a simmer. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.

Cook the bacon until crispy, reserving the fat. Dice the bacon.

For each serving, to order: Heat 1/2 tablespoon bacon fat over medium-low heat and add 1/2 tablespoon ginger and 1 teaspoon garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add 4 ounces spinach and watercress, toss, and turn off the heat. Add 1/3 cup candied shiitake mushrooms and 1/4 cup cooking liquid. Stir until well coated and mound the salad on a plate, drizzling the liquid around it. Sprinkle diced bacon over the salad.


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