Roasted Mushrooms and Cauliflower with Toasted Peanut, Fresh Chèvre, Crispy Sage, and Virginia Red Wine Vinegar Dressing
Yields 6 Servings
2 cups vegetable oil
1 head of cauliflower, stem removed
Extra virgin olive oil
2 pounds maitake mushrooms
Salt and pepper, to taste
¼ pounds sage leaves, about 2 picked bunches
2 ounces Virginia Works red wine vinegar, or other aged red wine vinegar
¼ cup fresh chopped parsley
¼ cup fresh chopped chives
5 ounces Hubbs salt-roasted peanuts, or peanuts of choice
2 cups fresh chèvre
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Heat vegetable oil to 350 degrees in a 2-quart saucepot.
Put a 4-quart saucepot on the stove with water and salt and bring it to a boil. Boil head of cauliflower for 2 minutes. Drain.
Toss cauliflower in olive oil. In a separate bowl, toss maitake mushrooms in olive oil with salt and pepper. Spread each on its own baking pan and roast until golden brown, about 10−12 minutes for mushrooms and 15 minutes for cauliflower. Remove from the oven and cool.
Check oil temperature in saucepot. Fry sage in oil until crispy, about 1−2 minutes, then carefully remove. Season immediately with salt and allow leaves to drain on paper towels.
Whisk red wine vinegar with fresh parsley, chives, and 5−6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Scatter chunks of chèvre on the plate. Break apart cauliflower head and arrange alternately with roasted mushrooms around chèvre. Sprinkle fried sage and peanuts. Drizzle with red wine vinegar dressing. Serve immediately.