Grilled Portobellini Feta Salad. A salad robust in flavors, vivid in colors, just what you would want for an easy light summer lunch.
Salad has always been an important part of our family meals. I can remember being a teen and would make pita salad sandwiches. My parents make their own vinegar from wines that are old. The vinegar was very strong, but that salad wrapped in that pita bread was so good. It made me feel healthy, vibrant, and so full of energy. This day and age salads have become complex. Not that simple greens mixture with oil and vinegar, but a medley of greens, micro greens, and the additions of proteins, grilled and caramelized, making a salad suitable for a full course meal. Today's take on this evolutionary dish is Grilled Portobellini Feta Salad.
There are times I often am tired of the heavy proteins, like beef, chicken, pork. This is something Nicoletta is happy with as she is vegetarian, pescatarian. So when I am feeling the animal protein blaws, she is pretty happy knowing that I will create something so flavorful yet lacking the meat of any kind. Today is one of those days, and I am going to substitute portobellini mushrooms in place of the meat.
The making of the Grilled Portobellini Feta Salad.
Portobellini mushrooms when grilled gives you that meaty like texture and a taste so plentiful that you will feel as though you are eating steak. In this salad I tossed the mushrooms with some good organic olive oil, salt, fresh cracked pepper, and some garlic, fresh thyme and parsley. Then I heated up the grill to a nice hot 400 degree F. This ensured me the nice caramelized surface of these baby portobella, sealing in all those robust and earthy juices, a great accompaniment to the freshness of the greens. These portobellini mushrooms we bought from Mona foods at The Old Strathcona Farmer's Market, along with the feta cheese bought at Sylvan Star Cheese, which the owner told us it was the best we will ever have and have us coming back for more. I have to say he was right. It was fantastic, rich, acidic, smooth yet pungent and a slight creaminess, and we are hooked both Nicoletta and I. We have tried others claiming to be the best but I have to put my votes into the Sylvan cheese and it so spiked up the flavors of this salad.
So as I said before, an easy salad to put together. First grill the mushrooms that have been marinated as I had said just a bit ago. As the mushrooms are grilling wash up some salad greens. We used a compilation of different greens and micro greens. You can use what you have available or prefer. Take the mushrooms off the grill. Place greens in a bowl and toss with some olive oil, organic and cold pressed of course. Add some salt and pepper and the salad is just about completed. Next place the grilled portobellini on top, then crumble the feta which was goat feta I might add. Just for some extra acidity and flavor a nice generous drizzle of balsamic cream. Balsamic cream is a vinegar that has been reduced with heat, creating a nice rich almost sweet acidic syrup you might say. It is so good whether on this salad or even on some cheese or grilled steak. It definitely kicks up any dish in a great way. Now back to the salad. Once you have finished drizzling the balsamic cream you are ready to eat this wonderfully natural, and absolutely delicious meal, and I said why not grill up some rustic bread. That is always a bonus to any good salad. So there you have it, slightly charred and golden in color, with its crunchy texture and smoky flavor. A perfect accompaniment to this salad.
Bite after bite you feel the meatiness of the grilled portobellini mushrooms, full of juices exploding in your mouth with drops of the fresh herbs, the sea salt and little bites, from the cracked black pepper. The feta creamy in your mouth, rich and acidic getting hints of that oh so good goat milk. The salad, crisp, fresh and even peppery from portions of the different greens all bathed in that extra virgin cold pressed olive oil. The smooth reduced sweetness of the balsamic cream adding yet another dimension of taste to this already wonderful salad accompanied by the grilled bread. This dish is definitely one added to my roster of favorites and when a break from the meat and potato comes in, try this amazing Grilled Portobellini Feta Salad. I am sure you will enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it and then eating it.
P.S. Last night Nicoletta and I had the privilege of taking in the Peter Gabriel and Sting's "Rock, Paper, Scissors" concert. It was absolutely amazing and one that had us so charged and singing all throughout the venue. So in gratitude to both Sting and Peter for their work, today's song will be two songs.
Songs of the day: "Message in a bottle", Sting.
"Don't give up", Peter Gabriel (featuring Kate Bush).Print
- 2 Portobellini mushrooms
- ¼ tsp of fresh thyme chopped
- 1 tsp of fresh parsley chopped
- 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt/ crushed black pepper
- 2 Cups of mixed greens and micro greens (or greens of your choice)
- 1 ½ table spoons of extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- ¼ cup of crumbled fresh goat feta cheese
- 1 tablespoon of balsamic cream
- Clean and wash mushrooms.
- Cut into nice thick slices and pace in a bowl.
- Add in olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme, parsley and give a quick toss.
- Heat up barbecue to 400° F.
- Place a grilling pan on the barbecue and heat up a bit.
- Place mushrooms on hot pan and grill till the start to caramelize on the surface, turning the mushrooms only once.
- In a bowl mix greens with olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Place greens on a plate.
- Place the grilled mushrooms on the greens.
- Sprinkle the crumbled feta over the mushrooms and salad.
- Drizzle the balsamic cream over the mushrooms, feta and salad.
- Ready to serve.
Skip the feta or substitute it with a vegan cheese and you'll have a vegan alternative
- Serving Size: 2 servings
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