Golden Turnips

A forgotten vegetable, ridiculed by Baldrick in the British series Blackadder (remember the Turnip Surprise that he prepared for Blackadder? It contained, obviously, turnip and the surprise? There was nothing else in it except the turnip) and it still not very popular.
To be called a golden turnip and remain forgotten is of course a bit sad.

Let’s give credit to the turnip: it has been around for many years (according to some sources as early as 2000 BC), it is used in many cuisines, from America to Japan, the leaves are also edible and it was once an important vegetable in the four-year-crop-rotation system. Next time you see turnips, just buy them, look for a recipe and enjoy.

The golden turnip has indeed a beautiful yellow colour, its taste is sweet and delicate, the structure smooth. Great to turn into a mash (with butter and perhaps nutmeg). They can be eaten raw (crunchy and the taste is peppery, radish-like). You could also mix them with other vegetables such as Jerusalem artichoke and parsnip (fry in the oven). 

We combined the turnip with a very tasty quail, stuffed with prunes, pancetta and bay leaf.

Wine Pairing

The turnip was cheap, the quail expensive so we decided to spend even more money and bought a bottle of Château de Crémat from the Bellet region near Nice. The wine is made with 75% folle noir and 25% grenache. Folle noir is a grape typical for the Provence region. Once very popular, this grape is now hardly used.
The wine is very balanced with flavours like prune and blackberries, a touch of oak and an aroma that made us think of flowers and dark fruit. In general you’re looking for a full bodied red wine, one that matches the quail and the presence of the bay leaf and the herbs in the pancetta.

What You Need

  • 4 Golden Turnips
  • Black Pepper
  • Nutmeg
  • Olive Oil

What You Do

For the quail see our earlier post. For the turnips: peel these as thinly as possible. Cook for perhaps 5 minutes and let cool. Slice in eight. Heat a pan, add olive oil and colour the turnips quickly. The idea is to add some colour and taste to the turnip and keep its golden colour. Serve with some black pepper and nutmeg.

PS

Use the remainder of the quails to make a very tasty stock. Put in ice cube bags, freeze and use when making sauces.

  • Golden Turnips ©cadwu
  • Golden Turnips with Quail ©cadwu

Mapo Tofu (vegetarian)

The first time we ordered Mapo Tofu we naively expected it to be a vegetarian dish. It isn’t but we were immediately impressed by the aromas and flavours. The Sichuan pepper gives the dish a floral, citrusy touch. The combination of the silky, soft tofu with the ground pork and the scallions is very rich. It allows for spiciness, but it’s also fine to be modest with the Chili Bean Sauce.

A wonderful, heart-warming dish, but not vegetarian. We replaced the meat with mushrooms (shiitake turned out to be the best choice) and we think it’s a lighter, equally tasty but different, version of Mapo Tofu.

Sichuan pepper is not related to black pepper or chili. It’s actually not spicy. It causes a pleasant numbing sensation on your tongue and lips, for a few minutes only, which is surprisingly nice when eating spicy food. We recommend lightly toasting the peppers before grinding or crushing them.

Drink Pairing

Jasmine tea is an obvious choice. It has a nice aroma and floral taste. The combination with the spices and the Sichuan pepper works really well.

What You Need

  • 250 grams of mixed Mushrooms (with lots of Shiitake)
  • 300 grams of Silken Tofu
  • 200 ml Vegetarian Stock
  • 2 tablespoons light Soy Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Mirin
  • 3 teaspoons Sesame Oil
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 small Onion
  • 2 Scallions
  • 3 teaspoons of chopped Fresh Ginger
  • ½ -1 tablespoon Chili Bean Sauce (Douban, Toban-Djan)
  • 1-2 teaspoons Black Bean Sauce (Douchi)
  • 1 teaspoon of Sichuan Pepper
  • Oil
  • Cornstarch

What You Do

Toast the Sichuan peppers lightly in a non-stick pan. Remove the peppers from the pan and let cool. Chop the shallot, the garlic and the fresh ginger. Slice the scallions and separate the white from the green. Clean and slice the mushrooms. Slice the tofu and make cubes (2 cm, 1 inch). Warm the stock. Add oil to the pan and fry the mushrooms. After a few minutes, add soy sauce, mirin and sesame oil. Combine and leave to simmer for a few minutes. Remove from the pan and keep warm in the oven at 50 °C or 120 °F. Grind the Sichuan peppers coarsely.
Add oil to the pan. Fry the white part of the scallions, the onion, the garlic and the ginger. Mix. Add the chili bean sauce and fry. Enjoy the aromas! Add half of the grounded Sichuan pepper. Add the stock, the tofu, the mushrooms and the black bean sauce. Use a spatula to mix. Allow to simmer for 15 minutes or so until the sauce is nicely reduced and the flavours mixed. In the meantime, finely crush the remaining Sichuan pepper. Use cornstarch to create the right consistency. Just before serving sprinkle with Sichuan pepper and the green of the scallions.

Side Dish

Serving Mapo Tofu with rice is a great idea. We enjoyed it with some Bok Choy (Pak Choi) simmered in Oyster Sauce.

What You Need

What You Do

Wash and slice the bok choy. Separate the green from the white. Fry the white of the bok choy in olive oil for a few minutes. Then add Thai oyster Sauce and water. Taste and add some soy sauce. Leave for a few minutes. Adjust by adding Thai oyster sauce or soy sauce. Just before serving add the green of the bok choy and mix.

Mapo Tofu (Vegetarian) ©cadwu
Mapo Tofu (Vegetarian) ©cadwu

Partridge with Sauerkraut and Parsley Root

Partridge is perhaps the most delicate of game birds. Tasty, aromatic, mild. It is also one of the most vulnerable birds, given it is under threat from loss of habitat. Especially the grey partridge is becoming scarce. They are also expensive (we paid 10 euro per partridge) and the best part of the season (September-November) is relatively short, so don’t wait too long if you want to enjoy partridge once a year, like we do.

The meat of a partridge is lean and tends to become very dry when preparing it. So what to do? Of course! Put a strip of bacon on each breast and transfer the partridge to a hot oven.
Not really. The bacon will impact the delicate taste of the partridge. And placing such a small, lean bird in a hot oven is a massive risk. Just a few minutes too long (simply because something else you are preparing takes a bit longer) and the meat is bone dry. Stuffing the partridge doesn’t help either; the filling will be moist, but the meat will be dry anyway.

The key to an excellent partridge is to be brave enough to use an oven on a really low temperature, meaning on the temperature the meat should have when it’s served, which is 70 °Celsius or 160 °Fahrenheit.  Dutch chef Peter Lute presents this method in two highly recommended videos.

Partridge combines very well with a range of vegetables and herbs. You could celebrate the end of summer by enjoying your partridge with a thyme-courgette cake. Easy to make and full of flavours. This year we decided to combine our annual partridge with Sauerkraut (Elzas-style) and Parsley Root Puree. 

Wine Pairing

We enjoyed our Partridge with a glass of Riesling, produced by Markus Molitor. A classic Moselle Riesling from Germany. Clear mineral aromas, also fruit, herbal, delicate and pure. Excellent with the flavors of the partridge and the sauerkraut.
In general you’re looking for an aromatic white wine, with perhaps a touch of sweetness.

What You Need

  • For the Partridge
    • Two Partridges
    • Two Garlic Cloves
    • Bay Leaf
    • Butter
    • Olive Oil
  • For the Sauerkraut
    • 250 grams of Sauerkraut
    • 50 grams of Bacon
    • One small Shallot
    • Bay leaf
    • Caraway (cumin)
    • Pink (or Red) Peppercorns
    • Juniper Berries
    • White wine
    • Butter
    • Olive Oil
  • For the Parsley Root Puree
    • Parsley Root
    • Cream
    • White Pepper
    • Nutmeg

What You Do

Start with preparing the sauerkraut. Slice the bacon and chop the shallot. Fry the bacon in some butter in a small iron skillet. After a few minutes add the shallot. Mix sauerkraut, pink peppercorns, crushed juniper berries, crushed caraway, white wine and a splash of olive oil. Add the sauerkraut to the skillet, add bay leaf, some butter, cover with foil and transfer to the oven (110° Celsius or 230° Fahrenheit). Leave in the oven for 4-6 hours. Check the sauerkraut every hour, mix and add water if needed.

A very helpful instruction (in Dutch) how to prepare partridge is presented and demonstrated by Peter Lute in two excellent videos. Please watch them and see how it should be done.
In summary: prepare the partridge by carefully cutting of the two legs and removing the lower part of the back of the bird (the tail bone area). Warm a heavy iron pan and add butter. Coat the birds with butter, making sure they have a very light brown colour. Transfer the pan to a warm oven: 70° Celsius or 160° Fahrenheit. Leave in the oven for 50-60 minutes. Since the oven is on the ideal temperature for the meat, it doesn’t really matter if you leave them in the oven longer. Set aside.

Peel the parsley root, chop and put in a pan with water and bring to a boil. When the parsley root is halfway, remove the water and add cream. Let cook on low heat until tender. Use a blender to create a puree. Add white pepper and nutmeg.

Add a touch of olive oil to a non-stick pan, and quickly brown the meat, skin side only. Just before serving separate the tenderloin from the breast and remove the fleece before serving the breasts. If all is well you will see a beautiful pink colour, indicating your cuisson is perfect and your partridge as tasty and delicate as possible.

Partridge with Sauerkraut and Parsley Root ©cadwu
Partridge with Sauerkraut and Parsley Root ©cadwu

The Art of Sauces: Cameline

Welcome to the Middle Ages, welcome to the world of bread sauces and strong flavours. Already in the thirteenth century Sauce Cameline was very popular and in the fourteenth century it could be bought ready-made from vendors. It was used as accompaniment with fish, wild boar, chicken and it was served warm or cold.

Different from béchamel, velouté, Hollandaise or other modern sauces, a bread sauce has a very specific structure. In the United Kingdom a bread sauce with milk, onion, cloves, bay leaf and peppercorns is served with turkey as part of the traditional Christmas dinner.

Recipes for Sauce Cameline are included in several books, for instance in Two Fifteenth Century Cookery by Faulke Watling and Thomas Austin, 1888 and in The Viandier of Taillevent: An Edition of All Extant Manuscripts by Terrence Scully, 1988. Both books are available via the well-known channels.

The Viandier of Taillevent is very much a historical research into the origin of 5 manuscripts with recipes, all ranging from probably the same source, but all different. The oldest is from the second half on the thirteenth century. Taillevent, also known as Guillaume Tirel (ca. 1310 – 1395), was cook to the court of France (Charles V and many others). As the dates suggest it’s not very likely that he is the author of the oldest version of the recipes but on the other hand no other name is mentioned.

Terence Scully explains in wonderful detail the background of the manuscripts and the recipes. He also includes a modern version of 220 recipes, based on his historical and culinary interpretation of all manuscripts. A very impressive book.
The Viandier of Taillevent is also the inspiration for many other historical cookbooks.

There is no original recipe for Sauce Cameline. Our impression is that it must contain vinegar, bread, cinnamon, cloves, grains of paradise, mace and ginger. 

Food Pairing

We would suggest pairing it with chicken. Depending on your choice of ingredients you could combine it with pork or wild boar. We enjoyed Sauce Cameline with small chicken roulades, stuffed with chopped raisins and rosemary.

What You Need

  • Old White Bread
  • Red Wine Vinegar
  • Cinnamon Powder
  • Ginger Powder
  • Mace
  • Clove
  • Grains of Paradise
  • Optional
    • Nutmeg
    • Raisins
    • Almonds
    • Black Pepper
    • Salt 

What You Do

Soak the bread in red wine vinegar (and water). In a mortar combine cinnamon, ginger and other spices. When using raisins, make sure to soak them.
The first option is to strain the bread and then combine it with the mixture.
We didn’t think that worked very well, so we drained the bread, added the mixture to the liquid and added some of the bread. We used a blender to create a sauce. We added a bit more bread and cinnamon to make it tastier and thicker.
The third option is to cook and reduce the mixture. According to the Viandier it should be a cold sauce, but others claim a warm sauce was served during winter.
Regardless the way you prepare it, keep in mind it should be a fairly acidic sauce with a dominant cinnamon taste.

PS

Grains of Paradise? New to me!
The grains are common to the North and West African cuisine. They were brought to Europe in the thirteenth century.
The taste is supposed to be hot, peppery and fruity. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find them and we didn’t feel the need to order the grains online. We substituted them with freshly grounded black pepper. The other flavours were sufficiently intense!

Ragù Napoletano

Ragù Napoletano is all about beef and tomatoes. Combining these two creates umami, one of the five tastes, because the tomatoes contain amino acid glutamate and the beef inosinate
Whereas Ragù Bolognese is made with finely chopped meat, Ragù Napoletano is prepared with whole cuts of beef, seasoned and rolled up. Best is to use Blade Steak (or Top Blade), Rump Cap or Top Rump. Our butcher suggested using Knuckle Side Roast (or Knuckle Plate Muscle) which is rather lean so a touch dry after simmering for many hours. On the other hand, it kept its structure and flavours very well. Best is to ask your butcher for advice.
Many recipes suggest adding pork ribs to the dish, but we wanted to focus on the combination of beef and tomato. We did however add a bit of fatty bacon.
Tomato-wise you need lots of tomatoes: fresh ones, passata, puree and/or canned.
Best to prepare one day ahead.

Wine Pairing

A red, full bodied wine from Italy made with Sangiovese grapes will be a great accompaniment for both the starter and the main dish. We opened a bottle of Les Petits Rigolos, a red wine from the Tolosan region in south western France made with Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. A round wine with notes of strawberry and blackcurrant. A touch spicy, which worked very well with the rich flavours of the Ragù Napoletano.

What You Need

  • For the Beef
    • 2 slices of Beef
    • Parmesan Cheese
    • Raisins
    • Fresh Parsley
    • Fresh Oregano
    • 1 small Garlic Clove
    • Optional: Pine Nuts
    • Olive Oil
  • For the Sauce
    • Small Onion or Shallot
    • Olive Oil
    • Bacon (or better: Lardo)
    • 250 ml of White Wine
    • Fresh Tomatoes
    • Tomato puree
    • ½ can of Tomatoes
    • Passata
  • For the Starter
    • Rigatoni
    • Parmesan Cheese
  • For the Main Course
    • Vegetables

What You Do

Soak the raisins in water for an hour. Drain. Chop parsley, oregano, raisins and garlic. In a bowl, combine raisins, garlic, oregano, parsley and freshly grated cheese. Flatten the meat if it’s difficult to roll up. Scatter the mixture over the meat, roll the meat up and tie with two strings of kitchen twine.
If using fresh tomatoes, peel and seed them. Chop coarsely. Chop the onion and slice the bacon. Heat a large saucepan, add olive oil, add onion and bacon. Leave on low heat for some 10 minutes or until the onion is glazed. Add the two rolls and fry them on all sides until evenly golden brown. Take you time to do this. Add the wine, let the alcohol evaporate and reduce. Add the tomatoes, the passata and the puree. Leave the stew on low heat and turn the meat occasionally. This stage is about stewing the meat as gently as possible and reducing the sauce. If you feel it’s going too fast, then put a lid on the pan, but only partially.
Once the meat is ready (this may take 4+ hours) remove the meat from the sauce, keep it warm (an oven at 50 °C or 120 °F will be perfect) and allow the sauce to reduce even more, as slowly as possible. Wait for the sauce to become dark and shiny.
For the first course: serve the sauce with pasta and freshly grated Parmesan cheese (we used Rigatoni because of the ridges).
For the second course: warm the meat in the remaining sauce, slice it and serve with sauce and vegetables.

PS

We would probably be kicked out of Naples (and Italy) with our version of Ragù Napoletano (oregano? French wine?). It is, however, a very tasty two course meal with lots of umami, as expected.

Umami

Sweet, sour, bitter, salty and umami are the five basic tastes. The term umami originates in Japan; it’s probably close to savoury. Recognizing sweet or bitter is something we learn as a child, recognizing umami is not something we have learned and that’s perhaps why some people in the past argued that umami is not a taste in its own right. It’s now clear that we have taste receptors that respond to the components that make umami.

Science

Danish professor emeritus in biophysics at the University of Southern Denmark, Ole G. Mouritsen, writes about the gastronomical, historical, scientific and cultural aspects of umami in his book Umami: Unlocking the Secrets of the Fifth Taste (available via your local bookstore or the well-known channels for approximately 40 US$). He also published cookbooks, for instance about seaweeds. Several scientific studies were conducted, trying to unravel the secrets of umami. One of the findings is that umami is the result of two components: glutamate and nucleotide. Bringing them together creates synergy and the umami taste is amplified.

Three Examples

Classic Japanese dashi is a combination of kombu (seaweed) and katsuobushi (bonito flakes). Kombu contains amino acid glutamate and Katsuobushi contains nucleotides inosinate and guanylate. Together they create a synergy, and the result is the clear taste of umami in dashi.
Same story for oysters and champagne. The oysters contain both glutamate and nucleotides (meaning that they are full of umami) and the champagne, due to the way it’s produced, contains glutamate, making oysters and champagne into a very tasty, umami rich combination.
Also the same story for tomatoes (amino acid glutamate) and beef (inosinate). Combining them should create the beautiful synergy of umami.

Ragù

Enough chemistry for one day. We decided to prepare Ragù Napoletano. It is one of the great dishes of Italy, or to be more precise of Campania. It is a combination of rolled up well marbled beef (rump cap, rump tail), an intense tomato sauce and hours of careful slow cooking and reducing. 
The result is a two-course meal: the sauce is served with pasta as a starter and the sliced meat with some sauce and vegetables as a main. 
Will you able to taste the umami? The answer is yes, absolutely, especially when you prepare the dish one or two days ahead.

Recipe for Ragù Napoletano in our next post.

Guineafowl and Bay Bolete

It seems to be a great year for the Bay Bolete! Earlier we wrote about this delicious mushroom and its name. The Bay Bolete is a fairly common mushroom and its flavour can be compared to that of the more expensive Cèpes or Porcini. It’s a bit more intense and especially when served with meat it is a culinary treat. We combined the Bay Bolete with guineafowl, rosemary, thyme, garlic and pancetta. Lots of flavours and aromas. An intense and great way to celebrate autumn.

Guineafowl meat is leaner, somewhat darker and more flavourful compared to chicken. It is not difficult to prepare, but due to the low-fat content you must be careful not to overcook. In this recipe we use guineafowl supreme (the breast fillet with the skin on plus the wing bone) which is perhaps the tastiest part of the guineafowl. 

Wine Pairing

We opened a bottle of Chiroubles, a cru from the Beaujolais, produced by Domaine Montangeron. The wine has floral notes and aromas of cherries and strawberries. Its colour is pale ruby. Rich, elegant and long. It brings freshness and fruitiness to the dish and is sufficiently complex to remain present when enjoying the guineafowl and the Bay Bolete.
In general you’re looking for a red wine with freshness, fruity aromas and complexity. Perhaps a Pinot Noir?

What You Need

  • 2 Guineafowl Supremes
  • Pancetta
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Olive Oil
  • 150 grams of Bay Bolete
  • One Garlic Clove

What You Do

Pre-heat your oven to 180 °C or 355 °F. Clean the mushrooms with kitchen paper. Put a sprig of thyme and rosemary on the meat side of the fillet and close it with two strings of red/white kitchen twine. Add some olive oil to an iron oven dish, add the guineafowl, meat side up, and cover with strips of pancetta (or bacon). Leave in the oven for 10-15 minutes depending on the size. Transfer the pancetta to the side of the pan, turn the meat and leave for another 10-15 minutes until done (and golden). The temperature of the meat should be minimum 70 °C or 160 °F. When the guineafowl is done, transfer from the oven, remove the kitchen twine and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Halve or quarter the mushrooms, chop the garlic very fine, fry the mushrooms in olive oil and add the garlic seconds before the mushrooms are ready. Add the mushroom mixture to the sizzling guineafowl juices in the pan and stir. Serve the guineafowl with the bay bolete on a warm plate.

History on Our Plate

A few years ago, we had the pleasure of attending a lecture by food historian and award winning author Peter G. Rose. She talked about America’s Dutch past and the influence of the Dutch settlers on today’s American food. She explained how the founders of New Netherland (currently the states of New York, Delaware, Connecticut and New Jersey) brought Dutch recipes, tools, herbs and fruit to the US. And she showed how the Dutch influence is still present in today’s food in the USA.

Recipes

In her book History on Our Plate (2019) she writes in more detail about this topic, also by providing various food and drink recipes from New Netherland (1609 – 1664). The recipes are based on publications like Een Notabel Boecxken van Cokeryen (a Notable Little Book of Cookery, 1514) and the 13th century publication Le Viandier de Taillevent. The recipes include both the original and a modern version, allowing you to recreate food from the 17th century. Fried cod with mace, waffles, mushroom fricassee, artichokes with a bread, cinnamon and wine sauce: they all sound amazing.

In her introduction she describes the joy of baking bread in a hearth, the fun (and challenges) of preparing food in her home fireplace and the candlelight dinners that follow. When reading the well written recipes, you sense that she (and her husband who is in charge of the fire) aims to let her readers enjoy the cooking and eating as much as they did.

Quiche or Clafoutis?

We were intrigued by a recipe for Mushroom Quiche without a Crust. It made us think of clafoutis. Replace the cherries by mushrooms, change the seasoning and you have a delicious vegetarian starter or main course. The recipe was first published in 1668 by Franciscus van Sterbeeck  in his book Tractaet van de Kampernoeljes, Genaamd Duivelsbrood (or Treatise of Mushrooms, named Devils’s Bread).
You’ll find a detailed recipe in History on Our Plate.

We enjoyed our Mushroom Quiche without a Crust (or should we say, Flaugnarde with Mushrooms?) with a glass of Rioja d’Oliva Gran Reserva, Altos d’Oliva, 2013. A full bodied, red wine with lots of character that worked really well with the mushrooms, the oregano, and the Gouda cheese.

Buy the Book!

History on Our Plate is available via the well-known channels and your local bookstore for approximately 15 euro or 10 US$.

Warm Tapenade

On one of the last, warm, long evenings of this summer we wanted to enjoy something with lots of flavours and depth, but we didn’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen. Then we remembered a tapenade like mixture that worked nicely with monkfish. Why not combine it with excellent beef? The result was what we hoped for: lots of flavours and we only needed 15 minutes to prepare it.

Wine Pairing

Enjoy with a glass of full-bodied red wine, for instance Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon or Malbec. The tannins of such a wine will combine very well with the depth and richness of the tapenade and the beef.

We enjoyed a glass of Les Terrasses Occitanes Fitou produced by Mont Tauch from the Languedoc region in France, made with Grenache, Carignan and Syrah grapes. A not too complex, full bodied dry wine with aromas of red fruit and a lasting taste.

What You Need

  • 150 grams of Excellent Beef (Sirloin, Bavette)
  • For the Tapenade:
    • Shallot
    • Garlic
    • Black Olives
    • Capers
    • Thyme
    • Rosemary (optional)
    • Anchovies
    • Olive Oil

What You Do

Let the beef rest on a plate until it reaches room temperature. This could take an hour. Chop the shallot and the garlic, halve the black olives and remove the thyme leaves from the stalk. If using fresh rosemary, make sure to chop the leaves. Dry the capers with kitchen paper. Mash the anchovies with a fork until you have a paste-like substance. Warm a pan, add some olive oil and glaze the onions. After a few minutes add the garlic. Add the olives, the thyme, the capers and the anchovies. The result should be a rather chunky, rich tapenade.
Add olive oil to a hot skillet and quickly fry the beef. Leave to rest for a few minutes before serving with the warm tapenade. Add some black pepper.

PS

Not using anchovies is not an option. They bring umami and saltiness to the tapenade. One fillet is enough to have the right result.

Beef with Warm Tapenade ©cadwu
Beef with Warm Tapenade ©cadwu

Mushroom Season

Hurray! The mushroom season has started! Last Saturday we bought delicious cèpes and chanterelles. Such a treat. It does of course mean that summer is over, which makes us a bit sad, but it also means the joy of eating wonderful dishes such as Cèpes à la Bordelaise or Salad with Mushrooms and smoked Duck (see below). Last year we prepared a Pâté with bay boletes, which was both beautiful and delicious. Will we be able to buy them this year? Or perhaps the intriguing Japanese Matsutake? It’s been some time since we last saw them on the market, and we would really love to make Matsutake with Spinach and Ginger again. How about Caesar’s mushroom with Udon?

Books

If you’re looking for useful mushroom recipes, then we suggest Antonio Carluccio’s The Quiet Hunt or Mushroom by Johnny Acton and Nick Sadler. Or look at our list of mushroom recipes.

Wine Pairing

Combining wine and salad is never obvious. In the case of a salad with mushrooms and duck we need to consider umami (mushrooms, duck), a touch of sweetness (smoked or cured meat) and the acidity of the dressing. We choose Domaine de Rimauresq Côtes de Provence Cru Classé rosé. A classic wine from the French Provence with grapes such as grenache noirmourvèdreugni blanc and rolle. The wine comes with delicate fruity, fresh flavours and aromas. It is very well balanced, dry and mouth filling and it combines beautifully with all aspects of the salad.
In general you’re looking for a white or rosé wine that has complexity and length, without being overpowering.

What You Need

  • 150 grams of Mushrooms (Cèpes preferred but also great with Oyster Mushrooms or a mix of Champignon de Paris, Shiitake and others)
  • Mesclun
  • Dried or Smoked Breast of Duck
  • Olive Oil
  • Vinegar (Red Wine, Jerez or Raspberry)

What You Do

Clean and slice the mushrooms. Heat a heavy iron skillet and fry the mushrooms in olive oil. Make a dressing of oil and vinegar. Toss the mesclun and the dressing. Transfer the salad to a plate, add mushrooms and finish with 3 or 5 slices of duck.