After a whole summer of non-stop sunshine, fruit smoothies and ice-cold Franzia boxed wine (that was actually only for a day, sadly...), I'm really looking forward to the comforting food of autumn. I am not complaining though. I am a huge fan of cold noodles, raw oysters and the buckets of ice cream we allow ourselves to indulge in for the simple reason that the sun is shining outside. That's why I am slowly transitioning.
A perfect transition food during from summer to fall is a warm salad, which are "trending" in my kitchen right now (#warmsalad #shiitake #foodnerd).
This warm salad combo represents both sides of the transition. I've got corn representing summer and shiitake representing fall.
Together, on top of a bed of fresh spinach (slightly wilted from the heat) the colors are really appetizing. Sauteing the corn and shiitake together also bring out a deep, sweet aroma that cold salads tend to lack.
I've seen and eaten warm salads before, but I don't think I'd ever really fully appreciated them until I started making them at home. Warm salads give you the opportunity to experiment with new combinations within the context of salad making. With a light saute you can bring out deep flavors without overpowering the raw elements.
Two handfuls of spinach spinned
1 corn on the cob (fresh), cut off the cob
2-4 shiitake sliced thin
1 clove garlic minced
2 tbsp EVOO
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp rice vinegar
Salt and pepper
On med-low heat EVOO with the minced garlic clove. When the garlic clove starts to brown, add the corn and shittake. Saute for 3-4 minutes until the shiitake start to absorb the oil and the corn kernels change color. Take off the heat.
Add vinegar and mustard to the veggies and mix very well. Add salt and pepper if necessary.
Top the sauteed veggies on a bed of spinach.