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Middle-earth Menu: “Spinach Mushroom Salad”

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By Astrid Tuttle Winegar

It’s springtime and the weather is warm—so it’s the perfect time to make a mushroom salad for lunch or dinner! If you’re in a questing mood, you could try finding more exotic mushrooms; to make your salad sparkle, you could justify buying some chanterelles, enokis, or oysters for fun. If you can find some Hen of the Woods, you’ll feel like you’re in Middle-earth. I know hobbits will just head outside and forage in a nearby forest, but you’d do better to buy your mushrooms from your local grocery.

Please follow this link to my blog for the Savory Seasoning recipe! Or, I’ll make you a batch—head over to my Etsy Shop Elegant Sufficiencies and order your own: Savory Seasoning in a Jar or (the cheaper version) Savory Seasoning in a Ziploc Bag.

“Spinach Mushroom Salad”

¼ cup walnut oil

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon malt vinegar

1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted lightly

2 teaspoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon Lea & Perrins® Marinade for Chicken

½ teaspoon “Shire” Seasoning (see links above)

5-6 ounces fresh baby spinach

½ cup carrots, peeled and shredded

½ cup red onion, cut into ¼” slivers

Freshly ground pepper (about 20 turns)

¼ pound fresh small mushrooms, thinly sliced


In a shaker jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the oil, sugar, vinegar, sesame seeds, soy, mustard, marinade, and “Shire” Seasoning and shake well. Place the spinach, carrots, and onion in a large bowl. Toss ¼ cup of the dressing with this and sprinkle with the freshly ground pepper. Arrange on a platter. Arrange the mushrooms on top of spinach mixture. Pour remaining dressing over the mushrooms. Serve immediately. Not recommended as leftovers. Serves 4-6.

This is known as “Ted’s Spinach Mushroom Salad” in my cookbook.

Photo of author Astrid Tuttle Winegar, creator of Middle-Earth Menu: Sweet and Savory Pork RoastAstrid Tuttle Winegar is the author of Cooking for Halflings & Monsters: 111 Comfy, Cozy Recipes for Fantasy-Loving Souls, which is now available from Oloris Publishing and Amazon! For now, she is mostly telling a culinary Middle-earth story here on Legendarium. Astrid has loved C. S. Lewis since childhood, J. R. R. Tolkien since middle and high school, all Star things, both Trek and Wars, all things Whedon, and many other things besides… She lives in the enchanted city of Albuquerque, New Mexico, with her husband and dog. Visit her website for more information: Astrid Tuttle Winegar | Cooking for Halflings & Monsters. Staff Reporter.

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