Not Your Grandmother’s Salad

I don’t often have a salad as my dinner.  Tonight was an exception, and a notable one.

It’s all about ingredients.  I already had steamed beets in the fridge, as well as a single organic Portobello mushroom, thinly-sliced, marinating in Nama Shoyu, a little balsamic vinegar, and olive oil (plus a bit of garlic) for 24 hours.  Mushrooms were dried on paper towels, so as not to overwhelm the dish with the Shoyu flavor.

nama shoyu marinated portobello_

So I cut up a head of organic romaine, a handful of organic arugula (both from Trader Joe’s), cubed the beets, and added julienned daikon radish, a few Matiz Piparras peppers (from La Tienda), and some chopped organic black pitted Italian olives from Russo’s.

Now the dressing: red wine vinegar, salt and pepper, whole grain French mustard, a bit of Gold’s horseradish (from a jar!), plus a few drops of cold water — all whisked together.  I added the dressing, and tossed the salad. and added a vegan alternative to Parmesan — Almesan, from Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s Veganomicon (page 207).  That recipe is very simple:

  • 1/4 cup of slivered or sliced almonds
  • 1 tbs. toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. lemon zest

Put everything in a blender or food processor.  Pulse until everything turns to tiny crumbs.  It works!  And it keeps in the refrigerator a long time.

Serve with a Trader Joe’s Corn Tortilla cracker with sesame seeds, topped with tapenade and some homemade roasted red peppers.

The wine was a stunning white Rioja, a 2002 Lopez de Heredia Gravonia, made from 100% Viura grapes.  Perfect match.

dried marinated portobello_ salad in mixing bowl salad om the plate dinner on the table Vinos Finos de Rioja salad and flatbread

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