Butter Lettuce Salad with Crispy Prosciutto, Oyster Mushroom Chips, Cabrales and Pears
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Remove the oyster mushrooms from the stem and pull them into bite-size pieces (the smaller ones can be left whole). Add them to a bowl along with some olive oil. Season with salt and crushed red pepper, to taste, and toss to coat. Spread the seasoned mushrooms out on 2 baking sheets in a single layer. Roast the mushrooms in the preheated oven until the mushrooms are sort of "cooked on" to the bottom of the baking sheet, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let it cool for 3 to 5 minutes. Scrape the mushroom chips off the bottom of the baking sheet with a bench scraper and reserve in a small bowl.
Cut the prosciutto crosswise into 1/2-inch strips. Try to keep them separated. Coat a large saute pan with olive oil and put over low heat. Lay the prosciutto strips in the pan, and when they start to shrivel and shrink add more strips to the pan. When the strips get crispy and crinkly give them a douse of red wine vinegar. Stir quickly and turn off the heat. Remove the strips to paper towels until ready to use. These are best when they are cooked the day of use.
Separate the leaves of the lettuce, removing any thick ribs. Wash and spin dry, if needed; usually this lettuce is pretty clean and healthy looking. Add the lettuce to a large bowl and toss in the mushrooms chips, sliced pears and blue cheese. Dress with red wine vinegar, olive oil and salt, to taste. Check the seasoning to make sure the salad is dressed appropriately. Arrange the salad on serving plates and sprinkle with the prosciutto strips.
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