On the Crash

As much as I was dying to get home after almost a month of travel, I’m still very much crashing off of my vacation high.

Because, you see, after vacation, I put on a T-Shirt and even after washing it, it smells like that special blend of sunscreen, sweat, and surf that takes me right back.  I love that smell.

Starbucks helps.

But no amount of Frappuccinos can undo a whiff of eau de beach.

Then, inevitably, while making my way through the rounds of endless laundry that follows unpacking one’s suitcase, I wonder what’s for lunch, and my only options are based on whatever’s hanging on in the fridge.

And upon our return, there was nothing at all in our fridge.  Oh heyyyyyy foil covered champagne bottle on the bottom right.  You stay classy.

Wasn’t it just the other day there was a new place to eat ’round every corner?  I thought so.

But sooner or later, and for me it’s generally sooner, you’ve gotta get back in the swing of things and start eating real meals again.  When that time arrives, I find re-creating your favorite dish from vacation helps immensely.  Today’s lunch is a riff on the warm mushroom salad I ate at Rue 57 on Sunday evening.

To make it, you don’t need a recipe, as much as you need a basic understanding that it needs to be piled so high with mushrooms you get at least 2 in every bite.  That is, if you love mushrooms like I do.  I seriously love mushrooms.

BONUS:  Arugula is healthy, thus cancelling out any sugars/carbs/toxins you may have ingested in the recent past.

Put some salad on the table for lunch and chase the crash away.

To make salad for 2, you will need:

  • A package of cremini mushrooms, sliced (I wish I had done half a package of cremini and half a package of shitakes, though)
  • 1 T unsalted butter
  • 1 T olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 3 or 4 large handfuls of arugula
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Balsamic vinegar (or, if you’re feeling fancy, balsamic reduction)

Melt butter in a skillet over medium high heat.  Add olive oil.  Add mushrooms.  Throw in some salt and pepper, to taste.  Stir mushrooms around for about 5 minutes, till cooked.  Place arugula in bowls, and shave some Parmesan on top.  I like enough that I’m going to have some cheese in almost every bite.  Place half mushrooms in one bowl, and half in the other.  Top with a few more cheese shavings, and balsamic.  Serve immediately.

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