A big, fat Polish salad with wild girolle mushrooms

Intense weather. August in Poland is hot, close and stormy.  I kind of like it. Intensity is a bit underrated in the UK I feel. The UK is all about cool, while Poland is a land of extremes. Perhaps the weather is more important in the formation of national attitudes than we realize. In this intense heat it’s difficult to eat warm food, so I made a big, fat salad for dinner yesterday, making use of the local “girolle” mushrooms and adding crunchy goat’s cheese croutons. I should have poached an egg and put that on top, but I didn’t think of it at the time. It was delicious none the less and an unusual way to eat these wild mushrooms that start popping up around now.

The base is a mixture of salad leaves with fresh dill – Warsaw style. The croutons are simply Polish bread, grilled on both sides with a hard goat’s cheese grated over one of them. The girolles are fried with plenty of garlic, salt and white pepper. The vinaigrette is flaxeed oil/olive oil mixed with some lemon juice, cider apple vinegar, salt and white pepper again. White pepper gives a salad a distinct East European flavour.