Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Spring Mix Salad with Grilled Polenta & Portabella Mushrooms

I decided to celebrate my return to blogging (after having blog "issues" & my Gmail account being "compromised" for a while) with this salad that I just made myself for lunch. It's not the easiest of salads to "throw together" but since it is my last day of vacation (school starts up again tonight), I decided to go "all out." Since the salad has a few components, I decided to make the dressing super simple, & I put it together all in the bottom of a bowl. That way you can easily toss all the ingredients with the dressing & be done. I added a few random ingredients from my fridge & I can't wait to delve into this salad...

-Spring Mix Salad Greens ("fancy greens"- I used about 1.5 cups or so for 1 salad)
-1/4 cup blueberries
-3 canned artichoke hearts
-1/4 avocado
-1 persian cucumber
-1 large portabella mushroom cap ("marinade": balsamic vinegar, olive oil, italian seasoning)
-4 slices of prepared polenta, cut in semicircles (I get it at Trader Joes, but I've seen it in some Kosher stores now, at Aron's yesterday. It is in a log form. Refrigerate it to firm it up, making it easier to cleanly slice)
-Sprinkle of craisins
-Dressing: lemon or lime juice, Kosher salt, freshly cracked black pepper (or lemon pepper works great here too), dijon mustard, olive oil.

-Spray a grill pan & heat over medium-high.
-Slice the portabella cap to desired thickness, and place in a bowl. Drizzle some olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and italian seasoning over the mushrooms & toss.
-When the pan is hot, add the mushrooms & let grill 1-2 minutes per side.
-In the meantime, slice the polenta, drizzle with some olive oil, salt & pepper
-When the mushrooms are done, transfer to a plate and re-spray the pan before adding in the polenta. I recommend letting the pan cool off a bit first, as polenta has a tendency to stick, especially if put on an extremely hot pan.
-Grill the polenta for also 1-2 minutes per side until golden brown and soft.
-Assemble the salad: in a large bowl, juice 1/2 of a large lemon (or a whole small lemon), which is about a tbsp. or 2 of lemon juice if you don't have fresh. Add a pinch or two of salt, and 2 turns of a pepper grinder. Squeeze in a bit of dijon mustard (about 1-2 tsps.) and whisk with a fork. While stirring, drizzle in a little bit of olive oil just to smoothen out the whole dressing. Add the greens directly into the dressing, along with the rest of the ingredients (chopped artichoke hearts craisins, cucumber, blueberries, and avocado). Toss well until the dressing is incorporated.
-Transfer to a plate & top with the grilled polenta and mushrooms.
-I topped mine with honey roasted peanuts just because ...when do they NOT go!

Try out this salad, it will do your stomach good!

1 comment:

  1. looks great. will make it and share