Leaves on my plate

Oh yeah, fall has started. I’ve had the heating on for the first time this year, leaving the house without an umbrella means grave danger for my Uggs and my potted fig looks like its leaves have been dipped in caramel. I’m okay with this. Anything that gives me an excuse to brew hot chocolate and wear my hooded sweater is good in my books. I am not, however, happy to say goodbye to summer.

Who is, when we have to say goodbye to tomatoes, melon and asparagus. And berries, gorgeous berries. So I bought a box of raspberries the other week, challenging summer to stick around for just a little longer. Yeah, bad idea. “Sour” does not do them justice. Yesterday’s idea was better: marry fall and summer into a salad.

Summer brought young salad leaves to the altar, and a sprinkling of parsley. Fall came bearing mushrooms and a sturdy piece of beef. With a few extras (oil, vinegar, parmesan, pine nuts and butter) the match was sealed deliciously. A perfect bridge between two seasons. Now, if I could only find a way to shield my Uggs from the autumn rains as effectively.

Autumn salad

piece of steak
2 handfuls oyster mushrooms, torn into big pieces
1 bag of salad leaves
small handful of parsley, finely chopped
1 tbsp butter
splash of olive oil, plus more for dressing
vinegar for dressing
1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed under the blade of a heavy knife
2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
3 tbsp parmesan, finely grated

Mix oil and vinegar to make a mellow dressing. Put in garlic and leave to marinate while you prepare salad.

Heat butter and oil in skillet, add steak when the mixture is hot. Fry quickly on both sides to give a dark crust, then lower heat to finish cooking to the degree of doneness you like. Take the steak out of the pan, cover to keep warm. Fry mushrooms in the same pan, mixing them throroughly with the lovely juices in the pan. Take the garlic from the dressing and add it to the pan; continue to fry until mushrooms are soft.

Dress salad leaves with dressing, sprinkle with parmesan and mix thoroughly. Scatter over pine nuts. Salt steak and slice into thick strips. Arrange mushrooms on salad leaves, top with steak slices and serve.

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