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Because in food I trust. In all forms and shapes. 

Lovebird salad

Lovebird salad

This is a 12-year-old Meirans family favorite, a classic. It all started 12 years ago when Armands decided to cook dinner. I was worried, because I had no idea if he could cook the way I like it. I knew he could cook, but still – there is usually only one chef at home. I was eager to see what it would be, and it was fantastic. It was one of those meals that I remember still. Was it because at that time it was a luxury or was it because my newly-engaged, soon-to-be-husband made it or was it because I was totally in love? Maybe all three, but the salad was perfect. Made with rucola, shiitake (a rare thing at that time), and lots of parmesan cheese: it was a bowl of pure happiness. It was something I wanted to eat over and over again, and it was one of the dishes we served on a regular basis for a time. The kitchen became my temple.

I did not make this salad – I do not like to repeat one dish too many times; it’s just too boring. But then a man who grows shiitake brought me a box full of luscious, juicy, and freshly picked shiitake – the kind I only could find in in California at Occidental Bohemian Farmers’ Market. They are so perfect alone that I had to make a salad, a simple salad where every ingredient has to be perfect. So here it is – our lovebird salad, made by people totally in love. But the good thing is – you do not have to be totally in love to like this salad – it tastes great even without rose-coloured glasses.

Ingredients:

20 ml grape seed oil
140 g kale, stems removed and torn into smaller pieces
160 g rucola
6‒8 tbsp hazelnut oil
60 g parmesan cheese, thinly sliced
sea salt to taste
freshly ground pepper to taste

for mushrooms:
1 big sprig rosemary, just leaves
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
400 g shiitake mushrooms, sliced
sea salt to taste
freshly ground pepper to taste

Prepare

Heat oil in a pan, add rosemary and garlic, and fry on low heat for about 15 minutes, so the oil soaks up the flavour of rosemary and garlic. Remove the rosemary and garlic. Reheat the oil and fry the mushrooms with a pinch of salt on high heat until they are golden. Remove the mushrooms, but leave the oil in the pan. Place kale in the same pan and cook on medium heat until crunchy.

While the garlic and rosemary are cooking (15 min), place the rucola in a bowl, sprinkle with hazelnut oil and the mushrooms. Seasons with cheese, pepper, salt and serve.

Recipe and pictures: Signe Meirane
Camera: Sony Alpha 7s

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