Both hearty and vibrant, this dish starring mushroom and kale is the perfect dinner salad or a great starter for entertaining at home. Warm barley is tossed with kale, earthy woodland mushrooms, and warm tomatoes, then scattered with creamy goat cheese, root vegetables, dried figs, and pumpkin seeds. It’s delicious, super healthy, and absolutely stunning.
Locally sourced mushrooms are easy to come by from the RI Mushroom Company in West Kingston. This fungus-forward biz has been dedicated to providing chefs and home cooks with high-quality mushrooms since 2013. Find them in countless grocery stores and markets across the state, including Dave’s Marketplace, The Fresh Market, Roch’s, and Belmont Market, to name a few. Due to their meticulous and consistent growing conditions, these exotic mushrooms are some of the best quality you’ll find. Any variety works for this recipe, but I prefer the rich, meaty texture of the shiitakes.
When you pan-sear the wild mushrooms, their earthy and robust flavor comes out around the same time they turn golden brown. In this dish, the sweet tomatoes complement the nutty mushrooms, and the raw carrot and pumpkin seeds offer a subtle crunch in every bite. Soft, tart goat cheese crumbles lend a creamy dimension to this otherwise bright and crisp mushroom and kale salad.
1. Prepare barley according to package instructions. I cooked one cup of barley to three cups of water, and simmered for one hour.
2. While the barley is simmering, begin preparing the other ingredients. Brush any dirt off of the mushrooms, and chop off their ends. Thinly chop the carrot, grate the radish, chop the red onion, and cut the dried figs in half.
3. About 15 minutes before the barley is done cooking, heat your oil of choice in a skillet over medium-high heat. Toss in your mushrooms and saute until golden brown, about 8-10 minutes. To achieve this, try not to stir them too much. Add the cherry tomatoes to the pan and continue to saute for about two more minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
4. When the barley is done, toss it with the kale. The heat from the barley will warm the kale without sacrificing its integrity. Add the mushrooms and tomatoes to the mix.
5. Top with sliced carrot, shredded radish, red onion, figs, pumpkin seeds, microgreens, and goat cheese. Drizzle with your favorite dressing and enjoy!
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