Simple Summer Eating
This post is sponsored by the Australian Mushroom Growers Association.
Summer social events at this time of year often include a request for guests to contribute a salad or dish to share. This is an easy way to share the work load of entertaining for the host, as well as the perfect opportunity to try new dishes and swap recipes with friends.
This Portabello Summer Salad is simple, fresh and packed with flavor. No one will guess how quickly you threw it together! A big hit of lemon, the saltiness of prosciutto, creamy mozzarella and the crunch of cos makes the most tasty of Summer salads. Although very simple to make, this salad has a memorable flavor. Take it to a BBQ or catch up with friends and make sure that you make it for yourself. This Summer Salad also makes a lovely side dish to enjoy with simple poached chicken or fish.
The lead up to Christmas can be manic. Each year I vow to do less than the previous year, to book less catch ups, to try to not feel stressed by back-to-back events and the requirements for each – a salad for one, a dessert for another, a kris kingle gift for the kids, a hostess gift…..Parties, end of year catch ups, family gatherings, sport and work break ups, the list goes on. It is possible to keep the food simple, quick and fresh without compromising on nutrition and flavour – enter the fabulously versatile mushroom!
Mushrooms are low in fat and a source of many antioxidants, for my family this= a winning ingredient to feature in recipes across the frantic “silly season”. One serve of mushrooms contains more than 20% of seven essential nutrients. (Source: Power of Mushrooms) The thing that I most love about mushrooms is that in addition to their health benefits, they also partner with a wide range of ingredients and flavors, thus making them incredibly versatile.
Create my Italian(ish) style Portabello Summer Mushroom Salad to take along to your next social event:
- dash of oil for cooking
- 2 garlic cloves - finely chopped
- 1 piece of preserved lemon - sliced finely and rinsed
- 200 grams portabello mushrooms - halved or quartered
- pinch of salt
- cos lettuce to serve 4
- 4 pieces of prosciutto - pulled apart
- 50 grams buffalo mozzarella - pulled apart
- fresh basil leaves
- ½ tablespoon macadamia oil
- ½ teaspoon red wine vinegar
- Add the oil to a hot pan with the garlic, preserved lemon and mushrooms. Stir to coat the mushrooms and then don't stir again.
- Cook for 3-4 minutes on a medium-high heat, remove the pan from the heat, add a pinch of salt, stir and allow the mushrooms to continue to sit in the cooling pan and cook a little more.
- Add the lettuce to a serving plate
- Top the lettuce with prosciutto, the mozzarella, mushrooms, fresh herbs and a drizzle of the dressing over the top
Serving size is based on the dish being served as a side
I used a combination of both sweet basil and purple basil (Red Sapphire) leaves as that is what I had in the garden. The purple leaves have a very similar flavor to the green.
This salad will remain on our menu well after Summer fades. I chose to use Cos lettuce for it’s lovely crisp fresh crunch. I had some gorgeous baby Cos lettuce in my garden that are never going to mature as I have been collecting leaves almost daily! They were begging to be used for this salad. As with the mushrooms, you could substitute for a lettuce variety of your choice.
This recipe featured preserved lemons (from our own tree) I adore the dense, slightly salty flavor. You could substitute with fresh lemon but it will not provide the intensity of flavor that makes this dish stand out. If you do not have your own lemon tree to make your own, preserved lemons can be purchased from good delis or markets.
I hope that you enjoy this salad as part of your festive activities. Happy holidays.x
Do you like to use preserved lemons in cooking? Have you tried it with mushrooms?
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