RECIPES & STORIES
"It's the Simple things in Life"
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
This recipe was inspired by a salad I love to order when I am visiting Toronto. You will find it on the menu at Il Gato Nero or “Gato” as the locals lovingly call it. This family-owned restaurant has been around for almost two decades and they serve the most delicious coffee, salads and pizza. During the height of summer, the Gato patio is a wonderful place to hang out and catch a soccer match. At night, the spot transforms into a happening bar and most mornings you can catch local actors, directors and writers enjoying their lattes and brain storming their next creative masterpiece. When I was filming the feature Dawn of the Dead I would always drop by Gato to grab my morning latte to enjoy during my long drive to the film set.
Peppery arugula leaves topped with balsamic-infused mushrooms and Parmesan cheese is pure heaven. The mushrooms are so good that you can double the recipe and serve them as an appetizer or a side.
6 Portobello mushrooms, sliced into ¼ inch strips
6 tablespoons of grape seed oil (divided)
2 tablespoons of aged balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons of almond flour or breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
7 ounces or 6 cups of tightly packed arugula leaves
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
½ cup shaved Parmesan cheese
Wipe the mushrooms cleaning using a dry napkin and remove the stems. In a large heavy skillet, heat 4 tablespoons of grapeseed oil on high heat. Drop in the sliced mushrooms and, using tongs, flip them around gently until they release water and wilt. About 10 minutes. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil and season with a teaspoon of salt about 5 minutes into cooking. Continue cooking on high heat and stirring occasionally. After 10 minutes the water will evaporate and the mushrooms will be a rich amber brown.
Turn off the heat, stir in the balsamic vinegar, followed by the almond flour or breadcrumbs.
Make the dressing for the salad by whisking together lemon juice, olive oil and salt.
Assemble the arugula leaves on a wide, shallow platter. Drizzle the dressing over the leaves. Gently place the warm mushrooms evenly on top of the bed of arugula leaves and sprinkle with shaved Parmesan cheese.
Serve right away.