This light salad would make a wonderful change from the usual lettuce salad starters that are so frequently served in the summer. It is quick and easy enough to serve as a vegetarian main course on those nights when it is just too hot to fuss with cooking much. As an added bonus, it would pair beautifully with grilled steak or chicken. The dressing makes use of tahini, which can be hard to use up if you don’t make hummus with great frequency.
Try smooth peanut butter in place of the tahini if you don’t have any on hand. You may need to add more vinegar to loosen it up. If you do use peanut butter, hold back the honey until you have tasted it. Many brands of peanut butter contain added sugars.
Try a thick slice of ripe beefsteak tomato instead of the mushroom if your garden is producing well. Don’t grill or sauté, as tomatoes frequently dissolve too much under heat.
Portobello steak salad
1 portobello mushroom cap
½ small bunch of baby bok choy
A few rings of red onion
1/3 small summer squash, chopped
1 small pickled beet, sliced
2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon tahini paste
3 tablespoon white wine vinegar
½ – 1 teaspoon honey
Salt and pepper to taste
For each serving, place one portobello cap and half a bunch of baby bok choy in an iron skillet with 1 teaspoon of oil. Brown the vegetables for 5 minutes, turning once in that time. In a small bowl, whisk together the tahini, the wine vinegar, honey, salt and pepper. Add the onion rings, parsley and chives and stir together to coat. Set aside.
Place a portobello cap in the bottom of each individual serving plate. Slice the bok choy into bite-sized pieces. Top the mushroom cap with the bok choy, sprinkle on some of the summer squash and the sliced beet pickle. Season with salt and pepper. Top with a generous tablespoon full of the herb and onion dressing. Chill and serve. ♦