Mushroom Grain Salad with Pancetta
D'Artagnan | Yield: serves 4-6 | Cook Time: about 1 hour
This hearty grain salad combines barley with sautéed mushrooms, leeks, and shallots. Crisped pancetta adds a salty kick while its rendered fat mixes with lemon juice for a simple dressing. Delicious as a side or a lunchtime main topped with over-easy eggs.
- 1 cup barley
- Kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons Black Truffle Butter
- 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
- 2-inch piece leek, white and light green part only, halved lengthwise & thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed & finely chopped
- 1 package Organic Chef’s Mix Mushrooms, trimmed and rough chopped, Trumpet Royale mushrooms sliced and lightly scored
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 4 ounces Ventrèche, cut into ¼-inch dice
- 1/8 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 lemon, juice and zest
- Cook the barley in a medium saucepan of boiling salted water until tender, 50 - 60 minutes for hulled or hull-less, 20 - 30 minutes for pearl. Drain; spread out on a sheet pan and set aside to cool slightly.
- Melt truffle butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add shallot, sauté until softened and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add leek and garlic; sauté about 3 minutes more. Add mushrooms, turning to coat; season mixture with salt and pepper. Continue to cook until mushrooms are soft and start to brown, about 10 minutes; add thyme, sauté about 1 minute more. Spread mushroom mixture evenly over the barley, set aside.
- In a small skillet over medium-high heat, sauté the ventrèche until rendered, golden brown, and crisped.
- Spread the parsley and ventrèche evenly over the surface of the mushroom barley mixture. Add the juice and zest of the lemon and drizzle about 3 tablespoons of the rendered ventrèche fat evenly over the top; season with salt and pepper. Toss mixture together before serving on a platter.
Recipe tips: The salad can be made 3 hours ahead and kept at room temperature covered with cling film. This salad is also delicious served warm with a soft-cooked egg on top.