dried shiitake mushrooms16 whole
preferrably winter specimens
 hot water3 cups
 radicchio1 head
 Belgian endive1 whole
 shiitake liquid1 1/2 cups
 salt 1/4 tsp
 black pepper 1/4 tsp
freshly ground
 olive oil1 1/2 tbsp
 garlic2 cloves
crushed and finely chopped, should yield about 1 teaspoon
 salt 1/4 tsp
 black pepper 1/4 tsp
freshly ground
 white wine vinegar4 tsp
 extra-virgin olive oil3 tbsp
 basil12 leaves
fresh, coarsely shredded


large glass measuring cup
mixing bowls (2)
large skillet with lid
small bowl
salad hands
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.

Jacques Pepin's Essential Pepin