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Seductive Shiitake Salad

8 oz. fresh shiitake mushrooms
1/4 tsp. salt or more, to taste
Pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp. olive oil
8 slices Italian or French bread
2 cloves garlic, halved
2 bunches arugula, stemmed, rinsed, and dried (about 4 cups)
2 red bell peppers, seeded and diced
1 lemon, sliced into 4 wedges

• Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
• Clean the mushrooms with a soft brush. Slice the caps into thin strips—set aside the stems for use in another recipe.
Combine the mushroom strips with the salt, pepper, and 1 Tbsp. oil. Toss to coat thoroughly and let stand 10 minutes or longer, stirring occasionally.
• Place the bread slices on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Rub the top of each slice thoroughly with the garlic and bake 5 more minutes, or until golden. Cut each slice in half and set aside.
• Divide the arugula among four plates and set aside.
Heat the remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes, until softened. Add the peppers and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Spoon the warm shiitake mixture onto the arugula, place 1 lemon wedge and four pieces of the toasted bread on each plate, and serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings

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