I’ve been to a lot of brunches lately, and with each one comes an opportunity to expand my palate.  At a brunch last week my friend served grilled sourdough sandwiches with portabella mushrooms and a mixed green salad that he “threw” together.  So, I thought I would make something similar.  Today I went to an Easter brunch and had the perfect opportunity.

I wanted the salad to be light and simple, so I let the mushrooms be primary with the garlic and chives as complements.  The walnuts and asiago cheese added nice texture and complexity.  I finished off the salad with a drizzling of grapeseed oil, salt, and pepper.

The chives came from my garden and we always have garlic, a kitchen staple.

I smash the garlic against the cutting board with my palm, a technique that my roommate taught me.  It makes the garlic easy to peel and naturally breaks it up.  I chopped the garlic into large pieces so that it doesn’t burn and stands alone in the salad.

I chopped the mushrooms into large pieces so that they are distinct in the salad.

Heat 2 Tbsp of grapeseed oil in a large metal pan.  Add the garlic and stir until you can smell the garlic.  Mix in the chives and then add the mushrooms.  Saute until the mushrooms are tender, adding more oil as needed so the garlic doesn’t stick.  Be careful not to burn the garlic.  Set aside.

Fold the mushroom mixture into 1/2 to 2/3 bag of mixed greens.  Add asiago cheese and walnuts.  Drizzle grapeseed oil on top; add salt and pepper to taste.  My friends said it tasted great and was the perfect salad for a brunch.