Although meatless, this salad offers meaty flavor and a great combination of fresh and stir-fried vegetables. A wonderful way to usher in spring, it's characterized by a crisp Asian flavor.
Portobello mushrooms are central to the salad. They are usually four or more inches in diameter and are brownish in color. Portobellos are essentially a crimini mushroom that is all grown up. Their size and density make them a perfect substitute for meat and they can be stir-fried just like beef. When purchasing these big mushrooms, avoid any that are broken or bruised. Also, avoid washing them before cooking to ensure maximum flavor. Instead use a cooking brush (or damp cloth) and lightly sweep them to remove any soil.
Peanut oil provides flavor and the high smoke point of the oil makes it perfect for stir-frying. Oils with a high smoke point can achieve a higher temperature without smoking or burning. A dash of sesame oil along with ginger and soy sauce adds East Asian flavor.
Ginger is in the same family as turmeric and cardamom and is native to southern Asia. Although the pungent root was well-known to the ancient Romans, it nearly disappeared after the fall of the empire. Thanks to Marco Polo's travels to the Far East, though, it came back into favor in Europe.
Remember when stir-frying to keep things moving in the pan. One of the benefits to stir-frying is that it's a wonderful way to keep super nutritious vegetables bright in color and crisp in texture, enhancing their appeal and maintaining their healthful qualities.
Sesame seeds - one of the oldest condiments known to man and believed to date back to about 1600 BC - add a very delicate nutty taste. The rice vinegar and sesame oil dressing tops it all with a softly sweet quality, making it a satisfying vegetarian, yet meaty-flavored salad.
Stir-Fry Portobello Salad
Makes 4 servings.
- 1 Tbsp. peanut oil, divided (canola oil may be substituted)
- 1 carrot, sliced thin diagonally
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped coarsely
- 1 cup fresh snow peas (frozen may be substituted)
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 4 Portobello mushrooms, sliced into 1/2 inch strips
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tsp. sugar (optional)
- 1/4 tsp. sesame oil
- 1 tsp. fresh ginger, grated
- 1 package of your favorite salad mix, about 4 cups packed
- 2 tsp. sesame seeds, toasted
- Dressing (recipe follows)
- Heat 1/2 tablespoon peanut oil in large skillet or wok over medium heat. Add carrots and cook 2-3 minutes, tossing and stirring. Add red pepper, snow peas, and salt and pepper and continue to toss and cook an additional 2-3 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon peanut oil, using the same pan. Add Portobello strips and garlic and stir fry to desired doneness. Reduce heat to low and add soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil and ginger. Mix and toss quickly to coat the Portobello.
- Turn off heat. Add the cooked veggies back in and give mixture another quick toss.
- Place salad mix on 4 plates. Drizzle with dressing. Divide the Portobello/veggie mix; place on top of salad.
- Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.
Content Continues Below ⤵
- 3 Tbsp. rice vinegar
- 1 1/2 tsp. low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. sesame oil
- 1 tsp. fresh ginger, grated
- 1 small clove garlic, minced
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- Place all ingredients in mixing bowl. Whisk thoroughly until fully combined.
- Let stand for 15 minutes to allow flavors to mingle. Whisk again before serving.
Nutritional Information Per Serving:
5 g total fat
1 g saturated fat
21 g carbohydrate
6 g protein
5 g dietary fiber
394 mg sodium