Wild Mushroom and White Bean Orzo Pasta Salad

Mushroom White Bean Pasta saladI can’t stop thinking about the wild mushroom pasta salad at Tractor Foods, a local restaurant up the street. I’ve adapted their version – they use ditalini pasta and truffled ricotta cheese – into this paired down, but equally delicious, version. I sautéed the mushrooms first and built up some flavour with white wine and lemon juice. Adding fresh herbs balances out the earthy flavour of the mushrooms, and feta cheese gives it a nice tang. The beans are a nice protein-packed addition and they round out this salad to more than just a side dish. I could have eaten this whole bowl by myself. -bvox

Wild Mushroom and White Bean Orzo Pasta Salad

First, sauté up a batch of wild mushrooms:

  • 1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cups chopped wild mushrooms, stems trimmed
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, rosemary and parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • Juice from a 1/4 lemon

Heat oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook without stirring, until caramelized, about 3-4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Toss mushrooms and season with salt and pepper and cook about 5 minutes more. Add garlic and herbs and cook another 1 minute, add wine and cook until wine is evaporated, about 2 minutes. Squirt in lemon juice to taste and let cool.

Toss with:

  • 3 cups cooked orzo
  • 1 small can of white beans, rinsed
  • 1/3 cup sliced scallions
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled

Add the dressing:

  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon truffle oil (if you have it)
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)

You might not need additional salt, as feta is salty. I would taste it first. I tend to start out light with the dressing, a couple tablespoons at a time, and add more if needed.


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