Side Dishes

Grilled Portobellini Feta Salad

Loreto July 25, 2016

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Grilled Portobellini Feta Salad. A salad robust in flavors, vivid in colors, just what you would want for an easy light summer lunch.

Grilled Portobellini Feta Salad

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.

Grilled Portobellini Feta Salad

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.

Grilled Portobellini Feta 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.

Enjoy!

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).

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Grilled Portobellini Feta Salad

Grilled Portobellini Feta Salad

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

Grilled Mushrooms:

  • 2 Portobellini mushrooms
  • 1/4 tsp of fresh thyme chopped
  • 1 tsp of fresh parsley chopped
  • 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt/ crushed black pepper

Greens:

  • 2 Cups of mixed greens and micro greens (or greens of your choice)
  • 1 1/2 table spoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup of crumbled fresh goat feta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon of balsamic cream

Instructions

Mushrooms:

  1. Clean and wash mushrooms.
  2. Cut into nice thick slices and pace in a bowl.
  3. Add in olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme, parsley and give a quick toss.
  4. Heat up barbecue to 400° F.
  5. Place a grilling pan on the barbecue and heat up a bit.
  6. Place mushrooms on hot pan and grill till the start to caramelize on the surface, turning the mushrooms only once.

Salad:

  1. In a bowl mix greens with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  2. Place greens on a plate.

Garnishing:

  1. Place the grilled mushrooms on the greens.
  2. Sprinkle the crumbled feta over the mushrooms and salad.
  3. Drizzle the balsamic cream over the mushrooms, feta and salad.
  4. Ready to serve.
  5. Enjoy!

Notes

Skip the feta or substitute it with a vegan cheese and you’ll have a vegan alternative


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2 servings
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Grilled Portobellini Feta Salad

Do you need more salad ideas? Check these out:

RADICCHIO, PEAR AND TALEGGIO SALAD

Radicchio, Pear and Taleggio Salad

PEA AND POTATO FRITTERS WITH A SIDE OF GOJI, EDIBLE FLOWERS AND MIXED GREENS

Pea and Potato Fritters

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10 Comments

  • Avatar
    Reply Kathy @ Beyond the Chicken Coop July 26, 2016 at 7:22 am

    A great salad doesn’t need to be complex. This looks delicious. I love that your parents made their own vinegar from old wine….I’ll be the flavor was amazing and the salad dressing made with it so flavorful!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto July 26, 2016 at 9:20 pm

      Hi Kathy

      So true simple is better when it comes to delicious salads. The dressing was so good I don’t like when a salad is served with so much dressing that you cannot taste the elements or ingredients of the salad, seems pointless. I usually like to taste the greens and other veggies in the salad just so I have a reference and also to create the perfect match in dressing. Thank you for your comment well put.
      Loreto.

  • Avatar
    Reply Gabrielle @ eyecandypopper May 12, 2017 at 10:55 am

    Sounds delicious! I love salads of all variety. Simple and complex, depending on my mood and my appetite. I love the meaty texture of mushrooms in a salad, mixed with balsamic. MMmmm!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto May 12, 2017 at 11:29 am

      Thank you Gabrielle for your comment. I hear you on the meatiness of mushrooms. There is nothing like a portobello grilling on the barbecue, lots of herbs, sea salt and pepper, with a good splash of E.VO. oil, yum. This salad was so scrumptious, the varieties of textures and flavors kept the tastebuds alive and dancing, to the rythyms of my stomach in that sheer delightful state. Add a nice chilled white wine and this just so complete
      Have a wonderful; Friday!
      Loreto

  • Avatar
    Reply Natalie Browne May 12, 2017 at 11:49 am

    That’s so cool, reading about your parents making vinegar out of old wine. I love the simplicity of this salad. I can imagine sitting on a sunny patio, eating this and sipping on a nice glass of wine. Perfect for BBQ season 🙂 Pinned!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto May 14, 2017 at 6:14 am

      Hi Natalie, These memories of our Italian heritage is what fuels our passion to carry it on and making vinegar was truly a part of that, and its so good. I love the picture you have painted, a beautiful sunny day, sitting on a patio BBQ going, having this wonderful salad sharing food and wine with people, that is living. Thank you so much for your wonderful comment.
      Have a great day!
      Loreto

  • Avatar
    Reply Flavour and Savour @flavourandsavour.com May 12, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    Well, after reading this, I’m off to buy some mushrooms! Such a hearty salad! And yes–it’s amazing how much difference a quality cheese can make to a recipe. Thanks for sharing.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto May 14, 2017 at 6:10 am

      Thank you so much, We love inspiring people, and love to hear that people get as excited as we do in our recipes. You are going to love this salad. The combination of grilled to freshness, and the abundance of texture keeps us truly interested right to the end.
      Happy Sunday to you.
      Cheers!
      Loreto

  • Avatar
    Reply thefoodblognet May 12, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    Grilled portobello are a favourite at my house, andI love that you marinated and grilled the mushrooms. The sweetness of the balsamic and salty feta would be so good with the earthy mushrooms. Beautiful salad!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto May 14, 2017 at 6:06 am

      I know what your saying about grilled portobello mushrooms, they are the closest thing to a steak in my books. I love the way they get so juicy, and have that meaty texture, and you are so right that with the feta and balsamic and those fresh greens was so so good, I would have it again in a New York Minute. Yhank you so much for your wonderful comment.
      Have a great day!
      Loreto

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