Spinach Salad with Shiitakes and Onions

Servings: 8
Sauteed shiitake mushrooms add an earthy flavor and heartiness to this salad, making it perfect for an autumn lunch.


1. Heat the peanut oil in a sauté pan until it shimmers.

2. Add the mushrooms and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the soy sauce and cook until dry. Remove from the heat and place in a bowl. Add the vinegar, salt, pepper, and Tabasco sauce. Cool completely.

3. Add the olive oil to the pan and sauté the onion over low heat, stirring frequently, until translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Allow to cool.

4. Toss the mushrooms, onions, spinach, and radicchio together with the vinaigrette. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Prepared Salad Mixes and Bagged Greens

If you were ever tempted to skip the washing and drying step when using prepared, bagged lettuces and greens, you were no doubt concerned over news stories of illnesses related to fresh spinach and lettuce. No matter how many times the bag proclaims your spinach or Mediterranean mix was washed, you need to wash it again and dry it well.

There is another important message from the food borne outbreaks associated with lettuce and spinach, however. After stringent investigations, the source of the contamination was found, and it appears that the contamination occurred before the produce arrived at the store or a consumer’s home kitchen. Cross contamination between pasture land and fields filled with growing produce infected the crops before they ever reached the processing plant.

There is nothing the consumer can do to make greens safe if they have come in contact with pathogens like E. coli. Washing, even cooking, does not remove or inactivate the pathogens. This does not mean that you should not eat these delicious, healthy vegetables.

It is in the interest of your local markets to know the origins of your food. It is in your interest to opt for locally grown and processed vegetables. Large-scale operations have the potential to spread a food borne disease rapidly over a wide area. Scrupulous food processors do all they can to assure that foods stay safe at each step of processing.


Recipe developed by The Culinary Institute of America

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