jacques pepin's braised shiitake mushrooms on bitter greens

jacques pepin\'s braised shiitake mushrooms on bitter greens
16 whole dried shiitake mushrooms
preferrably winter specimens
3 cups hot water
1 head radicchio
1 whole Belgian endive
1 1/2 cups shiitake liquid
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
freshly ground
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
crushed and finely chopped, should yield about 1 teaspoon
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
freshly ground
4 tsp white wine vinegar
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
12 leaves basil
fresh, coarsely shredded
When we had leftover radiccio from a lox platter that we made, we looked through the indices of some of our favorite cookbooks and found this gem in Jacques Pepin's Essential Pepin. This dish can be served as a substantial starter or an elegant lunch.
Reconstitute the mushrooms by soaking them in hot water in a large glass measuring cup. Weigh the mushrooms down with a ramekin or equivalent. Soak for 1-2 hours. Stir them occasionally.
Once the mushrooms are reconstituted, pull them out and remove the stems. Be sure to reserve the liquid; save the stems for gnarly bag.
An hour or less before serving, wash and dry the radicchio and endive. Cut the radicchio in half, then into 1-inch pieces. Cut the endive lengthwise in half, then cut each half lengthwise into 1/4-inch wide strips. Transfer the radicchio and endive into separate bowls.
In a large skillet, arrange the shiitake caps into a single layer. Add the shiitake liquid, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium. Cover and gently cook for about 12 minutes. Check the mushrooms occasionally for doneness - the caps should be fully cooked and most of the liquid should be evaporated.
Remove the cover and cook until the rest of the liquid has evaporated.
Then cook for an additional 3-4 minutes to brown each side of the mushrooms.
For the dressing, combine the garlic, salt, pepper, vinegar, and olive oil in a bowl. Use half of the dressing to toss with the radicchio, then use the other half to toss with the endive.
To plate, arrange the endive along the border of the each plate, then set the radicchio in the middle. Sprinkle the greens with the chopped basil. Arrange the mushroom caps on top of the radicchio, with half of them oriented cap side up, and the other half oriented gill side up. Enjoy immediately.
source: Jacques Pepin's Essential Pepin