The wild chanterelle mushrooms and sweet blue lake green beans I found at the farmers’ market this week reminded me of an intriguing fall salad I recently enjoyed at Jar restaurant. Chef Suzanne Tracht offered special dishes at a dinner benefitting the Women’s Heart Center at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, and I was a lucky guest at my friend Margaret’s table.
I had been thinking about the salad ever since I tasted it, and I wanted to create something similar. I started by whisking up an easy vinaigrette with tangy whole grain Dijon mustard and Sherry wine vinegar, anticipating that the rich flavor of the vinegar would compliment the earthiness of the mushrooms.
The vinaigrette was sumptuous and vibrant, and I realized the concoction would make a fine seasoning for both the salad and the arctic char fillets I was fixing.
The kitchen was soon filled with the enticing fragrance of sautéing mushrooms. Steve and I chatted as the fish roasted, and I tossed curly frisee lettuce with blanched green beans. I popped slices of country style bread into the toaster for a quick accompaniment. As I was about to brush extra-virgin olive oil over the hot, golden bread, I spotted the remaining vinaigrette, and on a whim, slathered it on the toasts.
The evening was warm enough to enjoy dinner out on our new patio. Because the meal took no more than 30 minutes to put together, we were just in time to watch the sun setting over the Santa Monica Mountains.
Arctic Char with Chanterelles, Green Beans and Frisee Salad
- 1 tablespoon whole grain Dijon mustard
- 1½ tablespoons Sherry wine vinegar
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoons minced shallot
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
- Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Nonstick olive oil spray.
- 2 5-6- ounce arctic char fillets
- 10 ounces green beans, trimmed
- 1 small head frisee lettuce
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
- ½ pound chanterelles or other mushrooms, sliced ½-inch thick
- Measure the mustard into a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Whisk in the vinegar. Gradually whisk in 5 tablespoons olive oil. Mix in the minced shallot and thyme. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Coat a small baking sheet with olive oil spray. Place the fish skin side down on the sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Transfer 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette to a small bowl and brush on the fish. Let the fish marinate while preparing the salad.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Cook the green beans in a pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain. Soak in a large bowl of cold water to stop the cooking, and then drain well. Pat dry. Cut the frisee into 2-inch lengths. Combine 2 cups of the frisee and the green beans in a salad bowl.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced shallot and sauté 1 minute. Add the mushrooms, sprinkle with salt and pepper and sauté until just tender, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Meanwhile, place the fish in the oven and roast until just springy to the touch and appears opaque when cut into with a small, sharp knife, about 8 minutes.
- Add 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette to the green beans and frisee and toss to coat. Add the mushrooms and toss gently. Transfer the fish fillets to 2 plates. Mound the salad alongside and serve.