Skip to content

Robert St. John

Restaurateur, author, enthusiastic traveler, & world-class eater.

Arugula and Warm Porcini Salad

Ingredients

1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 tsp Kosher salt

1/2 tsp Black pepper, freshly ground

1/2 pound Pancetta (or slab bacon), cut into 1/2 inch cubes

1 Tbl Dijon mustard

1/4 cup Sherry vinegar

1 Tbl Shallot, minced

1/2 tsp Garlic, minced

1/2 tsp Fresh Thyme, chopped

8 cups Arugula, cleaned and dried completely

6 ounces Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled

Instructions

Place the porcini mushrooms in a mixing bowl and toss them with 1/4 cup of the olive oil, half of the salt, and half of the pepper. Lay them out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast the mushrooms for 6-8 minutes. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool until you are able to handle them. Rough cut the mushrooms into thick slices and place them in a large mixing bowl. Hold the mushrooms in a warm place while you prepare the remaining ingredients.

Place 1 Tbl of extra virgin olive oil in a medium sized sauté pan over low-medium heat. Place the cubed pancetta in the heated oil and cook until the bacon becomes brown and crispy. Stir the pancetta often to make sure all sides become brown. Remove the pancetta from the fat using a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel to drain. Save three tablespoons of the grease and keep it warm.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the mustard, remaining salt and pepper and vinegar. Whisking constantly, drizzle in the remaining extra virgin olive oil and the reserved pancetta grease.

Toss the warm mushrooms with three quarters of the dressing. Add the arugula and half of the bacon and toss so that the lettuce is well coated.

Divide the salad onto 6-8 serving dishes. Toss the crumbled gorgonzola with the remaining dressing. Sprinkle the cheese and remaining pancetta over the tops of each salad and serve immediately.

Yield:  6-8 servings

Recent Recipes

Cinnamon Cream Syrup

This pairs perfectly with Sweet Potato Pancakes. It may be better than the pancakes themselves (and they’re great). But try this recipe on regular pancakes, waffles, and French toast.

Read more

Sweet Potato Pancakes

I ate my first sweet potato pancake during my only visit to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. My family, along with another couple and their young children rented a cabin in the mountains during spring break. I woke every morning and headed into town for breakfast. I would imagine Gatlinburg has more pancake houses per capita than any place on the planet. My problem is that I never found a good-tasting pancake until I happened across sweet potato pancakes at one of the pancake houses. We serve a version of this recipe at The Midtowner. The Cinnamon Cream Syrup is a must.

Read more

RSJ’s Smoked Yellowfin Tuna Dip

The smoked tuna dip at Harbor docks is, by far, the best in the area. Actually, it’s the best I have ever tasted. Over the years I have taken a few stabs at recreating a Harbor Dock’s version, but always come up short. After several failed attempts, and facing a cookbook deadline, I finally worked up a recipe for smoked crab dip, which is excellent, though my wife still prefers Harbor Docks smoked tuna dip.

Read more