It all started with a question: What to make with king oyster mushrooms? With their superb elongated shapes and meaty appearance, these humongous mushrooms enticed me the moment I saw them on the shelves of the local Korean grocery store. It was an impulse purchase, and a day after I bought them I started regretting it. With no ideas in sight and hardly any time to plan and to execute a recipe, why, oh why had I bought these mushrooms in the first place? Still, I was determined not to let them go to waste, and in the end I decided to make something quick and flavorful – perfect for those long winter evenings when you’re not into cooking something fancy. “Let’s get real,” I said to myself – and pasta salad it was! 🙂
This dish is good for a Super Bowl party because it is carb-satisfying, keeps hunger at bay, and requires very little preparation.First of all, you need fresh king oyster mushrooms, which you can usually buy from local ethnic grocery stores.
Just look at these mushrooms: Aren’t they a thing of beauty? I knew I had to treat them with great care and respect…
…so I decided to keep things simple by slicing them…
…and then sautéing them in butter and olive oil. I added chopped green onions…
…and stirred the mushroom&onion mix a few times.
I added salt and pepper to taste and gave the mix a few more stirs, until the mushrooms were moist and translucent.
Farfalle are among my favorite types of pasta, and they were an obvious choice for this dish. I boiled 1/2lb dry farfalle, which turned into about 5 cups of cooked, al dente pasta. I added it to the mushroom&onion mix and stirred it a couple more times.
For another dose of Italian charm, I added 1lb ciliegini. Whenever I’m out and about I stop by the local specialty cheese store and buy at least 1lb ciliegini to have on hand in the fridge, just in case guests show up or DH wants an Italian-inspired salad. Equally worth mentioning, ciliegini are a great calcium-packed snack!
No dish is ever complete without fresh herbs, and in this case the choice was obvious to me from the very beginning: I was going to go with parsley! Rich in vitamins and packed with flavor, parsley is, I think, a vastly underrated herb. In our culture however, parsley is the unofficial “king of herbs” and the go-to option for bringing freshness and a vibrant color to dishes.
I added a bunch of chopped parsley, tasted again for salt and pepper – and voilà! Our salad was done 🙂
If you wish, you can add red pepper flakes for a bit of heat and assertiveness. We like this salad as it is though: It is simple, honest, and wholesome. Food that is infused with honesty and unpretentiousness – now that’s something I like 🙂