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Spring Salad with Mushroom ''Dirt''

Assemble a garden on your plate with this modern, spring landscape-inspired salad recipe from GILT chef Justin Bogle. The edible "dirt" is made from delicious dehydrated mushrooms.

  • Servings: 4
Spring Salad with Mushroom ''Dirt''

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, April 2011


For the Salad

  • 16 fava beans
  • 12 fiddlehead ferns
  • 4 Thumbelina carrots
  • 8 sugar snap peas
  • 8 French breakfast radishes, trimmed and halved lengthwise
  • 8 baby golden beets, roasted
  • 12 small morels
  • 1/4 cup sherry-wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pickling spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole coriander
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 jumbo white asparagus, peeled and trimmed

For the Zucchini Marmalade

  • 1 cup finely chopped yellow squash
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt

For the Elderflower Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup banyuls vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon elderflower cordial
  • Coarse salt

For Serving


  1. For the salad: Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Prepare an ice-water bath and set aside. Add fava beans to boiling water and cook until crisp-tender; drain and transfer to ice-water bath to cool. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Repeat process with fiddleheads and carrots. Repeat process with snap peas; when snap peas have cooled, trim ends and slice open. Transfer fiddleheads, carrots, and snap peas to bowl with fava beans. Add radishes and golden beets; set aside.

  2. Prepare an ice-water bath. Place morels in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover; stir and remove morels from water; repeat process, changing water, until water runs clean. Transfer morels to a medium nonreactive bowl. Place sherry-wine vinegar, 1/2 cup water, 1 teaspoon salt, pickling spice, and sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Strain vinegar mixture over morels and set bowl in ice-water bath to cool. Remove from ice-water bath and cover until ready to use.

  3. Prepare an ice-water bath. In a medium saucepan, toast coriander, bay leaves, and pepper over low heat. Add wine and cook until reduced by half. Add vegetable stock, olive oil, lemon juice, thyme, and asparagus; place a parchment paper round over asparagus to keep submerged. Bring to a simmer and cook until asparagus is tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and place saucepan directly in ice-water bath; let asparagus cool in liquid. When asparagus has cooled, cut each into 4 equal pieces; return asparagus pieces to cooking liquid and set aside.

  4. Make the zucchini marmalade: Place squash, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan over low heat; cook, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

  5. Make the elderflower vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, and elderflower cordial; season with salt and set aside.

  6. To serve: Place a spoonful of mushroom "dirt" down the center of each of 4 rectangular serving plates. Add morels and asparagus to bowl with vegetables; drizzle with elderflower vinaigrette and toss to combine. Divide vegetable mixture evenly among plates; garnish each with a fennel chip. Garnish each plate with a dollop of marmalade; add herbs, flowers, and lettuces and serve.

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