This portobello mushroom salad is a meaty, smoky and earthy recipe accompanied by delicate micro leaves, crunchy pistachios and finished off with a lemon parsley vinaigrette. An easy way to serve up a fancy salad for a special occasion!
- Why You’ll Love Baked Portobello Mushroom Salad
- What Are Portobello Mushrooms?
- Popular Portobello Mushrooms Recipe Ideas
- What Is Pasteurised Feta?
- What Makes A Good Feta?
- Recipe Overview
- Variations and Substitutions
- Great Main Dishes for This Salad
- Frequently Asked Questions
Why You’ll Love Baked Portobello Mushroom Salad
Portobello mushrooms have such an earthy and smoky flavour. They are also fantastic due to their size, and you can do so much with them. Serving it up as it is and adding a few little elements really lifts it.
This salad has been created as an individually plated salad that can be served as a small appetiser or served at the same time as the main fare. As the mushrooms are so big, it is easier served on a dish on its own instead of having to share with the other dishes on the table.
By serving it up individually, it allows us to play with its presentation. It’s an easy plate up of just a few splashes of dressing and sprinkling and crumbling of ingredients. The results are surprisingly pretty, and it’s one of those deceivingly easy salads where people think it takes a lot of effort. Love those recipes!
What Are Portobello Mushrooms?
Also known as Portabella or Portabello, Portobello mushroom’s most distinctive feature is its size. They consist of a round flat cap that is around 12-15cm in diameter. It consists of a stem, a smooth cap with colours ranging from dark brown to a light tan, and quite firm.
Many people believe that Portobello mushrooms and cremini mushrooms are the same. And they would be right to think so.
Portobello’s are just a mature version of the cremini as they are harvested when fully grown. Their maturity does mean that it loses more of its moisture, giving rise to pronounced dark brown, fleshy gills on the underside of the cap.
The flavours are earthy and smoky while it has a meaty texture when cooked, giving rise to a popular substitute for meat in vegan recipes.
Popular Portobello Mushrooms Recipe Ideas
You can eat portobello mushrooms in many ways, but the most popular way is to stuff it. We love being able to keep the shape and size of the mushroom intact, and as the cap creates a cup-like residual recess, it is perfect for housing all sorts of ingredients.
You can stuff it with:
- Cheese, breadcrumbs and herbs
- Cheese, onions and peppers
- Artichoke, tomato and goat cheese
- Sausage and mozzarella
- Pecorino and mince
The next popular way to eat Portobello mushrooms is to grill them and make vegan burgers. Its meaty texture makes it perfect, and you’re only limited by your imagination as to what you put in your burgers.
You can scallop them, slice them up, add to pasta sauces, grill them, and just eat them as it is or bake them as we have done in this salad recipe.
What Is Pasteurised Feta?
Pasteurised feta is simply feta that is made from pasteurised milk. This is a safer option for most as the pasteurisation process will kill any harmful bacteria.
What Makes A Good Feta?
A good feta is made with sheep’s milk. Occasionally you may find that some have goat’s milk but should be predominantly sheep’s milk. Should a feta be made with cow’s milk, it is not considered to be authentic. Feta crumbles beautifully if made with sheep’s milk.
Feta should be white in colour. If they look a little yellowish, it can mean that it has been out of the brine for some time and has been exposed to the air.
Most importantly, purchase feta that is made in Greece. No point arguing with the best. Luckily for us, we live in Melbourne, which has the largest Greek population of any city in the world outside of Greece. So, accessing excellent feta is easy enough to do!
Flavour/Texture: The salad is earthy and smokey with the added delicate flutters of the micro salad, saltiness from the feta cheese and the crunchy nuttiness from the pistachios.
We drizzle a lemon parsley vinaigrette to round it off, which as you can imagine is herbaceous and citrusy. This enhances the flavours of the other ingredients.
Ease: Simple! Whack the mushrooms in the oven. Blitz the salad dressing and then assemble. You can play around with the presentation of the salad itself to suit your liking. Have fun with it!
Time: 10 minutes for prep and assembly with 15 minutes in the oven. In fact, if you’re organised you can shorten this time by doing some of the prep while the mushrooms are roasting away.
Portobello mushrooms: Make sure you’re choosing the best quality mushrooms you can find. As they are so delicate and not the cheapest of fresh produce, check the underside that it’s not slimy or overly soft.
Pistachio kernels: to add to the mushroom’s earthy flavours, the pistachios helps to enhance it. It has been said that pistachios have a mild flavour, but I personally don’t think so. Of all the nuts, pistachios have the most distinct taste. Hence fantastic for salad recipes.
Oh and let’s not forget the crunch. We want the crunch!
Feta: Included for all of its creamy, salty goodness. As you cut through the mushroom and you pick up the micro salad and pistachios, smash some of the feta on top to bind it all together for the perfect mouthful!
Micro salad: Delicate, fresh and soft, it gives the recipe the contrast in textures to the meaty mushrooms. Besides, they’re such a healthy addition and also provide some height to the plate.
Parsley: A fantastic staple herb to use for a salad dressing. When you lift the lid of your food processor, you’ll be hit with the strong smells of this fresh herb. Not to mention a great way to add some greens to your diet!
Olive oil: Use your favourite olive oil for this recipe.
Lemon: This recipe needs some citrus. Otherwise, it’s too earthy and salty. The lemon helps to cut through it and give it that little bit extra that it needs.
Red wine vinegar: Can’t have a vinaigrette without some vinegar!
Garlic clove: Garlic tends just to give any recipe that little extra boost. Incorporated into the lemon parsley vinaigrette, it gives the dressing extra flavours.
Salt: To taste
How to Make Salad
Preheat the oven at 180°C or 350°F and baste a sheet pan with 1 tbsp of olive oil.
Remove the stem from the mushrooms. Be gentle with this process as you don’t want to break the mushroom. You can squeeze the stem which will loosen it from the base and also allow you to remove smaller chunks at a time. Or you can give it a little push left and right until it naturally lifts from the base.
Lay the mushrooms skin side down and baste with 1 tbsp olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven for 15 minutes.
Roughly chop 20g of pistachios. Leave the other 20g whole.
Crumble the feta.
Wash micro salad and ensure dry before use.
How to Make Lemon Parsley Vinaigrette
Roughly chop parsley leaves and add into a food processor.
Then add olive oil, juice of ¼ lemon, red wine vinegar, garlic clove and salt.
Blitz until well combined.
How To Assemble The Salad
This is an individually plated salad, so repeat this process 4 times.
Drizzle some lemon parsley vinaigrette randomly on the plate. If you have any leftovers, place in a small bowl and serve with dinner so you can add more if you wish.
Place one mushroom, skin side down on one side of the plate.
Place a heap of micro salad on top of the mushroom.
Sprinkle some crumbled feta and whole pistachios on the plate.
Sprinkle some chopped pistachios on top of the mushroom and around the plate.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Repeat for the other 3 plates.
Variations and Substitutions
No micro salad: If you’re unable to find micro salad, you can use any micro herb such as red stem radish, dark opal basil or garnet giant mustard.
Alternatively, you can use sprouts. Mung bean would probably be my last choice with my favourite being the snow pea or alfalfa sprouts.
Nut alternative: You can use pine nuts, almonds or hazelnuts if you prefer or just have them handy in your pantry. For those with any nut allergy, replace it with sunflower seeds or pepitas.
Vegan friendly: Replace dairy component with vegan feta. The tofu truly works a treat!
Parsley substitute: Coriander would be the perfect substitute for this salad dressing. Sometimes I change it up as I have so much coriander leftover!
Great Main Dishes for This Salad
Quinoa Sweet Potato Chili: For a nutritious, high in protein recipe, this chili will make a great vegetarian accompaniment to the baked portobello mushrooms. Simple, filling and oh so hearty!
Simple and Juicy Roasted Chicken with Thyme: A hands off recipe in a cast iron skillet or Dutch oven, just place in the oven and come back later. Makes for the perfect Sunday night roast.
Sun-dried Tomato Risotto: Risotto and pasta dishes are complemented perfectly by the meatiness of portobello mushrooms. This recipe is rich and tangy and a wonderful main for any occasion.
Frequently Asked Questions
To prevent your mushrooms from going slimy, you can do a few things.
Always buy your mushrooms individually rather than in a sealed pack. This way you can touch the mushrooms and check them to see if they are already starting to deteriorate. This allows you to pick the best quality, especially important if you’re not cooking it on the day.
Mushrooms are made up of 80% to 90% water so storing them in paper bags is essential as it will allow it to breathe. Putting them in an airtight container increases the rate of spoilage as condensation occurs. Storing them in the fridge also helps to prolong its longevity.
There are 2 ways you can remove the stem. The first and probably most common way is to lay the mushroom stem side up. Using your thumb give it a little nudge on each side, and eventually, the stem will come away from the cap. Don’t yank it too hard or it will break.
As the portobello mushrooms are so big, you can use a small sharp knife to cut the stem off. They may not be so easy to wriggle off. This way it’s a clean-cut and you won’t have to worry about breaking the mushroom. As it’s the hero of the dish, you do want it intact!
Micro salads, microgreens and micro herbs haven’t quite made its way to mainstream supermarkets as yet where I am. I go to fine food grocers or farmers markets to get them.
If you have any leftovers, just add them as a garnish to your next meal or throw it into a simple salad mix.
Even though this is an individually plated salad, it can, of course, served all on a platter. Select a bigger platter than required to house the recipe. This gives it some white space to just help with the presentation.
Place the mushrooms haphazardly on the platter. No right or wrong way of doing this and just follow the rest of the assembly instructions.
You can prepare all the components in advance but leave the roasting of the mushrooms to the end. This is a warm salad, and it wouldn’t be good cold.
Told you it was easy! Would you have thought this process would yield these results? With such beautiful produce, you don’t have to do much to elevate it that’s for sure! Make sure to eat the mushroom with everything on the plate.
Mop up some lemon parsley vinaigrette, pick up some feta crumbles, and forget the micro salad leaves and pistachios. Yum!
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Baked Portobello Mushroom Salad
Click on the toggle below for conversion to US Cooking Units.
- Preheat the oven at 180°C or 350°F and baste a sheet pan with 1 tbsp of olive oil.
- Remove the stem from the mushrooms. Lay the mushrooms skin side down and baste with 1 tbsp olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Roughly chop 20g of pistachios. Leave the other 20g whole.
- Crumble the feta.
- Wash micro salad and ensure dry before use.
- Roughly chop parsley leaves and add into a food processor.
- Then add olive oil, juice of ¼ lemon, red wine vinegar, garlic clove and salt.
- Blitz until well combined.
- This is an individually plated salad, so repeat this process 4 times.
- Drizzle some lemon parsley vinaigrette randomly on the plate.
- Place one mushroom, skin side down on one side of the plate.
- Place a heap of micro salad on top of the mushroom.
- Sprinkle some crumbled feta and whole pistachios on the plate.
- Sprinkle some chopped pistachios on top of the mushroom and around the plate.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Repeat for the other 3 plates.
- If you can’t find portobello mushrooms just look for large mushrooms. You may need 2 per person if this is the case.
- You can substitute the micro salad with micro herbs such as chervil, parsley and coriander mixed together. Or you can add some sprouts such as alfalfa, snow pea or mung beans. Essentially, you’re looking for something a little delicate to place on top of the mushroom.
- If you don’t want to use vinegar in your dressing, just add more lemon.
- Goat cheese is a good substitute for feta.
- Pine nuts are a good substitute for pistachios.
*Disclaimer: Nutritional information provided is an estimate only and generated by an online calculator.
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