Aug 14 2014

Tales and Recipes of a Traveling Vegan (Summer 2014 Edition-Recipe #1)

Published by at 2:05 am under Salads,Vegan

When my husband and I landed in Europe mid-July, our expectations of finding vegetarian and vegan friendly eats were pretty low after spending our first trip abroad as one year-old vegetarian/vegans in Paris in the spring.

However, each city we visited during this summer trip blew my skepticism away. From street food to fine-dining, I discovered food that left a life-long impression on me. I can now confidently say that there is a world out there, outside of metropolitan US where one can eat meat-free without eating like they’re in a high-chair, hospital, or prison.

Now that I’m back home, I’m inspired to recreate some of the beautiful vegan dishes I enjoyed during our travels to Copenhagen, Vienna, Venice, and Malmo.

On our first evening in Vienna, we spent the whole day walking the Kärntner Straße, the famous pedestrian street of Vienna, a hybrid of Miami’s Lincoln Road and Paris’s Latin Quarter, bustling with luxury boutiques, cafés, and restaurants, while contrastingly regal with its palaces, cathedrals, and Renaissance architecture. At around 11 o’clock in the evening, we turned on one of the side streets off of Kärntner Straße, Schwarzenbergstraße. Taking in the elegance, charm, and romance of this quaint street, we stumbled upon a beautiful outdoor patio right on the sidewalk belonging to 1516 Brewery Company. We stopped and had a summer ale on the patio amidst candle-light.

We learned that their kitchen is open until 2am, so we decided to have a late-night meal too. I was expecting hot dogs, burgers, fries, typical bar fare but was surprised to see a wide array of fresh items, specifically their vegetarian ones. They were even accommodating in adapting them to vegan for me. While I thoroughly enjoyed my Tofu Satay Burger, the true star of my meal was the mushroom salad, a bunch of buttery, meaty sautéed chanterelles served with homemade mini-croutons, endives, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and local greens. Simple, yet decadent.

My husband and I returned to 1516 on our last evening in Vienna just to have this salad one last time.

Unlike most memories that can never be revisited physically, memories with food are special because they can be recreated in our very own home. Time to take a ride in my culinary time machine!

While my search for chanterelles back at home has not been successful, despite frequenting local farmers markers, I have learned that using beautiful oyster mushrooms, creminis, and shiitakes fresh from the farmers market can be equally decadent.

Wild Mushroom Salad Recipe
Serves 4

2lbs of wild mushrooms (cremini, shiitake, oyster, and/or chantrelles)
One Romaine Heart
Two Endives
Heirloom cherry tomatoes
Two sprigs of fresh thyme
Two sprigs of fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons vegan butter
4-6 cloves of garlic
Small red onion
1 cup of crispy fried onions

1/4 cup walnut oil
1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
Tablespoon of brown mustard
Tablespoon of clover honey
Teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Chop finely the garlic, thyme, and rosemary, and place them into a sauté pan with the oil and butter over low medium heat. Watch the garlic so that it doesn’t burn. Let the oil’s flavor develop for about 10 minutes.
Clean the mushrooms with a damp towel and then quarter them. (Each piece should between a 1/2 inch to 1 inch.) Place the mushrooms in the sauté pan, add the black pepper. Wait until the mushrooms have completely cooked (about 10 minutes) before adding the salt, otherwise the mushrooms will not brown as quickly.

Slice the red onion thinly, place them in a small bowl or jar, and squeeze the juice of the lemon over them. The lemon will tenderize them, so they don’t overpower the salad. Allow them to sit for at least 10 minutes. The longer they sit, the better.

Rinse, dry, and chop the romaine leaves. Place them in individual bowls or one big serving bowl. Place the red onion on the romaine. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and nestle them into your salad bed.

Combine the mustard and honey into a small bowl or squeeze bottle. Add the champagne vinegar. Then whisk in the walnut oil. You can use olive oil, but the walnut oil adds another layer of depth that really goes well with the meaty mushrooms. Then add some salt and pepper to taste. Pour some of the dressing onto the romaine, onions, and tomatoes.

Peel off the endive leaves, rinse, dry, and place like petals around the bowl(s).

Place the mushrooms on the salad. Lastly, sprinkle the fried onions to finish.

Bon Appetit!

Chanterelles Salad

Chanterelles Salad

Wild Mushroom Salad

Wild Mushroom Salad


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