It was a dark and stormy night. Streetlights were out. It was pouring rain. And where was I? Next to the pickup truck of a man I’d never met before getting a bag full of freshly foraged chanterelles. I didn’t even know his name. For now let’s call him Mr. Heisenbug.
What was I thinking? It never occurred to me that my behavior might seem a bit wacky and rash. Wandering off with some strange man to get chanterelles. At the time it made perfect sense to me. Who wouldn’t want freshly foraged chanterelles? I decided that means that I’ve lived in Portland long enough that nothing is too out there and really nothing is strange. I just roll with it. Given my new PDX attitude I scored a couple of pounds of chanterelles. No money was exchanged. I have to admit I did feel like I was on an episode of Breaking Bad. Making an exchange. In the dark. Except my meth was mushrooms. The legal kind by the way. Just sayin…
I have to say, while I’m not proud to admit this, the east coast Lisa was highly suspicious of Mr. Heisenberg’s generous nature. Granted he was a friend of a friend. But still. Who gives away the equivalent of $45 in foraged mushrooms to some chick in a bar? Apparently he does. But of course as I’m doing all my chopping and prep work, in the back of my head I’m wondering…what if these aren’t chanterelles, but some poisonous mushroom and Mr. Heisenburg intentions were not so generous. I suppose if you don’t hear from me again we’ll all know what happened. Just look for Mr. Heisenberg.
Warm Chanterelle and Pancetta Salad
1⁄4 lb. pancetta, diced
2 shallots, peeled and minced
1⁄2 lb. chanterelles, trimmed and quartered
1⁄4 cup pine nuts
7 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
4 large handfuls of mixed greens (frisée, arugula, or
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Cook pancetta in a medium sauté pan over low heat until crisp, about 20 minutes. Drain on paper towels and transfer to a large bowl. Pour off fat from pan (a thin film will remain). Increase heat to medium, add shallots to pan, and cook until tender, about 15 minutes.
2. Increase the heat to high; add chanterelles and pine nuts, and sauté until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer mixture to bowl with pancetta.
3. In the same pan, warm olive oil over medium heat, then whisk in lemon juice and vinegar and heat through, scraping up the flavorful browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
4. Add mixed greens to bowl with pancetta, chanterelles, and shallots. Add the warm vinaigrette and toss well. Divide among four plates and season with pepper.
Recipe courtesy of Saveur
Weird chanterelle pic courtesy of me