I feel a bit of a fraud posting this up as a recipe, because there’s very little to it beyond, well, combining some arugula and mushrooms. But here it is anyway. This is a favourite salad to go with a plain grilled strip-loin, a dish of warmed cannellini or haricot beans and a bottle of something Italian, a Chianti or even a deep, soft Montepulciano. The rose-red tranquillity of a Florentine sunset is the only ingredient missing...
I like to slice the fat off the strip-loin, give it a rubbing of olive oil, a sprinkle of salt and pepper and then I lay the fat over the steak before grilling it. Lining the grill tray with foil gets rid of any washing up inconvenience. The beans are just heated up, again well seasoned, and then given a splash of oil before being served with this salad on the side.
Arugula, or rocket, is also known as ‘girgir’ locally and has a tangy flavour not dissimilar in its effect to a milder version of radish or watercress.
- 1 bunch girgir, or arugula
- 6-8 button mushrooms, sliced
- 25g parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp English mustard powder
Wash the girgir and pat dry in a paper towel, taking care not to bruise the leaves. Shave the parmesan into thin strips. Mix the olive oil, vinegar, salt and mustard powder, then drizzle over the leaves, sliced mushroom and parmesan.
If you've really got it bad, eat this while watching Tea With Mussolini or Room With a View...