Saturday, May 28, 2011

Grilled Portabella and Chicken Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

Several years ago, I took a cooking class at a local kitchen store and one of the menu items was a grilled portabella mushroom salad. Up to that point I had never been a fan of mushrooms and I'm still a bit picky about which ones I will eat. Portabella's are one of the few, so far, that I enjoy. Mainly because of their heartiness, and when grilled and eaten immediately they have a firm texture to them which is a nice break from the often slimy versions that you commonly find. However, most mushrooms if cooked correctly can impart a nice earthy flavor and can be hearty and satisfying. One of the best ways to eat a Portabella, in my opinion, is grilling it. Simply remove the stem, scrub clean and pat dry, brush both sides with olive oil and season with coarse salt and fresh ground pepper. That is exactly what I did for the dish along with some fresh grilled chicken breast. Place on top of your favorite greens with a tasy dressing and you have a healthy and satisfying meal.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Makes: 2 dinner Salads or 4 side servings


2 portabella mushrooms - scrubbed clean and stems removed

Olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

Additional seasoning for chicken - if desired - I like mesquite seasoning or a little ground red pepper

4 cups fresh spinach, arugula or romaine lettuce - cut into bite sized pieces

Ground Mustard Vinaigrette - recipe to follow

Pre-heat Barbecue or grill on medium. Season chicken breasts with salt and fresh ground pepper and any other desired seasonings. Place on Grill. Wait about five minutes before cooking mushrooms as chicken will take longer. Brush both sides of mushrooms with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. With a paper towel rub olive or vegetable oil onto grill. Press mushrooms down with spatula on grill and let cook for about four minutes on each side - pressing down frequently with spatula.

Cook chicken until meat thermometer reads 165 or until juices run clear when pierced with a fork - about 5-10 minutes on each side depending how hot your grill is. Mushrooms should be flattened and have good grill marks on each side.

Let both chicken and mushrooms rest about five minutes before slicing into thin strips. Meanwhile make dressing.

Mustard Vinaigrette

Makes: About a half a cup

2 tablespoons coarse ground mustard (whole mustard is fine too)

2 tablespoons lemon juice

salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp brown sugar

1/4 cup olive oil

(This is my favorite mustard if you can find it)

In a measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, mustard, sugar, salt and pepper until well blended. Slowly whisk in olive oil until all ingredients are incorporated.

To Assemble Salad:
Split the lettuce between two bowls or plates. Drizzle with dressing and place sliced mushrooms and chicken on top of each. Or if you prefer to serve as a side salad. Place all lettuce in a large bowl, toss with desired amount of dressing and top with chicken and mushrooms.

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