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Chanterelle, Bacon, and Plum Salad with Blue Cheese
From The Scandinavian Cookbook, by Trina Hahnemann

The best mushrooms are collected in the woods. In Denmark we have professional pickers who, after they have been to the woods, will sell the chanterelles directly to stores and restaurants. Chanterelles are ruined if you wash them in water; brushing them clean is a lot of work, but worth it.

Ingredients:

1/2 pound bacon, cubed
1/2 pound chanterelles
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
10 red or green plums, pitted and cut into wedges
6 cups mixed lettuce leaves
4-1/2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled

For the Dressing:

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon superfine sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil

Cook the bacon until golden in a skillet. Let drain on a piece of paper towel.

Use a dry brush to clean the chanterelles, then pan-fry them for 5 minutes in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and let cool in the skillet.

Sauté the plums for a minute in the remaining 1 tablespoon oil.

Make the dressing. Mix the balsamic vinegar and sugar together in a small bowl, then whisk in the olive oil until the mixture has emulsified (this will take a while as there is more vinegar than oil).

Just before serving, combine the bacon, mushrooms, plums, and lettuce in a serving bowl. Pour the dressing over and toss gently. Add the blue cheese but do not toss the salad any more because it easily turns mushy.

Yield: Serves 4

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