The salad is wonderful either warm or at room temperature, but the meaty mushrooms are juiciest straight from the broiler. They're great cooked on the grill, too, or in a grill pan. If you want to experiment with different greens, try arugula or Belgian endive.
4 portobello mushrooms (about 1 1/2 pounds), stems removed, dark underside of caps scraped off
1/3 cup plus 6 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/4 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1 pound boiling potatoes (about 3), peeled and cut into 3/4-inch dice
1 small head curly endive (about 3/4 pound), torn into bite-size pieces (about 2 1/2 quarts)
How to Make It
Heat the broiler. Put the mushroom caps on a baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine the 1/3 cup oil, 1 teaspoon of the thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Pour the mixture over the mushrooms and toss to coat. Broil the mushrooms, turning once, until tender and golden, 6 to 8 minutes per side.
Meanwhile, put the potatoes in a medium saucepan of salted water. Bring to a boil and simmer until tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Drain.
In a small glass or stainless-steel bowl, mix together the mustard, vinegar, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add the 6 tablespoons oil slowly, whisking. Toss the warm potatoes with 2 tablespoons of the dressing.
In a large bowl, combine the scallions, watercress, and curly endive. Toss with the remaining dressing and then put the greens on a platter or individual plates. Scatter the warm dressed potatoes over the greens. Slice the mushrooms and serve on top of the salad.
Wine Recommendation: Wines made from the sémillon grape are rich, full-bodied, and intense, and yet they are surprisingly compatible with a number of cuisines. Look for one from the Hunter Valley of Australia for an interesting and tasty accompaniment for this salad.
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