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On a recent trip to the Farmers Market we stopped at one of our favorite organic produce stands. They were selling some nice pea shoots and the biggest, fattest, firmest portabella mushrooms I had the pleasure of seeing. I really wasn’t in the market for mushrooms on this occasion, but forgive me, it was like that moment in The Fellowship of the Rings when the hobbitses find the mushrooms and get so excited they trip over themselves and start rolling down the hill yelling Mushrooooooms!
Luckily for me there were no hills involved…

I brought them home and knew we had to eat them right away. I didn’t want to lose any of those fabulous fresh flavors or the perfect meaty texture. So I decided to really celebrate my veggie finds: mushrooms, pea shoots, arugala and eggplant. I broiled the portabellas and eggplant (remember I have no grill and can’t get one) and paired them with chevre and roasted garlic and topped with really good balsamic vinegar. This was a wonderful main course salad, perfect for all that summer weather we have been experiencing. Served with a nice crisp glass of white wine and life is good.

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I served the salad with caramelized onion pumpernickel dinner rolls – a recipe which I adapted from the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day book that has revolutionized my life.

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INGREDIENTS:

2 fresh portabella mushrooms, sliced thick
1 eggplant, sliced thick
1 red onion sliced thick
6 cloves of garlic
2 TBS olive oil
salt and pepper
4 cups fresh baby arugala
2 cups pea shoots
1/2 cup fresh torn basil leaves
4 thick slices of chevre
olive oil drizzles
drizzles of Rubio Aceto Balsamico Di Modena (Invecchiato)
salt and pepper to taste

METHOD:

Line at least 2 large cookie sheets with foil, lay all the slices of mushroom, onion, garlic cloves and eggplant on the sheets. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Broil until golden on all sides (about 5-10 minutes on each side depending on the power of your broiler).

In the meantime, wash and dry your greens, basil and peashoots and place on nice big plates.
Remove veggies from oven and place on top of greens. Place goat cheese on top of everything and drizzle with good quality fruity olive oil and balsamic. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.