"Confit" Maitake Mushroom Salad with Tomato Carpaccio
1 head maitake mushrooms, hen of the woods or substitute with large shiitake caps
1 bunch Italian basil,5 sprigs and rest picked
1 red onion sliced
2-3 cups extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
3 heirloom tomatoes, ¼ inch slices, laid out on large plates Carpaccio style
Preheat a 300-325 degree oven. Remove the bottom part of the maitake stem and cut maitake into big pieces. Place maitake pieces in a baking dish and add 5 sprigs of basil, onions and season with salt and pepper. Add extra virgin olive oil to cover about halfway. Cover with foil and place in oven for 1 1/2 hours, mixing one time after 30 minutes. Strain oil and reserve. Take ½ cup of the oil and mix with the balsamic vinegar and season. Chiffonade the basil leaves. Sprinkle some sliced onions and basil on the tomatoes, then some maitakes in the middle and drizzle on vinaigrette.
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