• Posted by Eric Tucker on May 26th, 2008, 3:23 PM

    Chanterelles have hints of hazelnut in their flavor profile so this is a natural combination. The mushroom syrup is made by reducing the liquid that comes off the chanterelles as you dry sauté them (ie. sauté them in a tiny bit of olive oil). Don’t worry if you don’t have any, it just amplifies the chanterelle essence.

    Ingredients

    Serves 4

    For the dressing:
    ¼ c chanterelle syrup (optional)
    3 tablespoons champagne vinegar
    1 tablespoon grain mustard
    1/3 cup grapeseed or a light olive oil
    2 tablespoon toasted hazelnut oil
    ¼ cup chopped toasted hazelnuts
    Salt and pepper to taste

    For the salad:
    ½ medium yellow onion thinly sliced
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    ¼ cup diced smoked tofu (or use cooked bacon, don’t let me stop you)
    1 cup sliced dry sautéed gold chanterelles
    1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
    8 cups loosely packed Bloomsdale or Savoy spinach leaves (or use frisée)

    Make the dressing: Combine the chanterelle syrup, vinegar, and mustard in a mixing bowl. Slowly whisk in the oils until emulsified. Fold in the hazelnuts and adjust the seasoning to taste. Make the salad: Heat a large sauté pan over a medium flame. Sauté the onions in the olive oil, stirring often until lightly caramelized. Add the tofu, mushrooms, and rosemary and sauté 2 minutes or until the tofu starts to get crisp. Place the spinach in a mixing bowl. Pour ½ cup of the dressing into the pan and scrape to deglaze. Pour the pan’s contents over the spinach and mix with tongs, wiping the spinach in the hot sauté pan to wilt it. Season with salt and pepper. Serve drizzled with a bit more dressing and sprinkled with the toasted hazelnuts.

    Eric Tucker is the founding and current chef and co-owner of Millennium, one of the nation’s premier fine dining vegan restaurants. Eric is the principal author of The Millennium Cookbook and The Artful Vegan. A graduate of The Natural Gourmet Cookery School in New York, his culinary passion has been to elevate vegetable-based cuisine to the sublime. He is a resident of Oakland, where he is opening an organic wine bar soon.

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