Portobello, Broccoli, Chickpea and Grain Salad with Fresh Lemon Basil Dressing

Juicy, toothsome portobellos rest on top of a savory salad of roasted broccoli, chickpeas, nutty grains and tart apple tossed with fresh lemon and basil dressing. The components for the salad are easy to prepare ahead of time so this nutritious and delicious meal comes together in a snap.

Can you tell that after all my brownie recipe testing that I was in need of some fresh and wholesome nourishment? Oh my goodness, well this salad definitely fit the bill. It’s all I need right now and I hope it makes you feel as good as it has me.

First, there’s the base of the salad which is composed of a sprouted quinoa and wild rice mix, roasted broccoli, chickpeas, a bit of shallot, and tart green apple. Needless to say, there’s some really nice contracts of texture of flavors going on. A bit smoky and sweet from the charred broccoli, a bit of chew and nuttiness from whole grains and chickpeas, some bite from the shallot, and fresh tart crisp apple…so good!

Now, if you don’t have a sprouted quinoa and wild rice mix, you could use something else; perhaps just quinoa, or just brown rice, or barley are a few options. White rice would work here, but I’d steer more towards a less refined grain for the sake of texture and the nuttiness that whole grains contribute. The nutrition profile of whole grains is better, too!

The portobellos are a cinch to make and so there’s a lot of pay off here for little effort. I’m pretty lazy when it comes to marinating. I don’t flip the mushrooms like some recipes ask you to. I just spoon the marinade into the mushrooms once their stems have been removed and they’re sitting gill side up on the prepared baking sheet. Bonus: no extra marinade dish to wash. Let them hang out like this for about 30 minutes, and then they bake for 15 minutes with the marinade still pooled on top. When you flip them, the marinade will spill out on the baking sheet along with some of the juices the mushrooms have started to release. Simply brush the marinade onto the tops of the mushrooms and let them bake again for another 15 minutes. Word of caution: have your stove exhaust fan on as things can get a bit smoky from the spilled marinade baking off. If you’d like to avoid this, you could carefully pour the marinade from each mushroom into a small dish before flipping. You could use a big serving spoon to cup the mushroom in one hand and pierce it with a fork in the other hand to keep the mushroom stable when pouring.  Once the mushrooms are cooked through, remove them from the oven and baste once more with any remaining marinade and let cool slightly before slicing. They are juicy, flavorful and pair so well with the freshness of the dressing.

The dressing is pretty much out this world. It sooo flavorful thanks to fresh basil leaves, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, a bit of mustard, some vinegar and lemon juice. It makes for the prettiest green color once blended up, too. This recipe makes more than what you’ll likely need for the salad, so three cheers for homemade salad dressing in the fridge ready for your next salad!

This salad is best if served straight away. If you’re making this recipe for just a couple of people and will have leftovers, I’d recommend not mixing the dressing and apples with the grains, chickpeas, broccoli and shallot but wait until you’re serving next to add them together. Toss the apples with a bit of lemon juice to help prevent them from browning, or wait to slice them at the time of the next serving.

Let me know how you like this salad, and tag me @crumbs.and.caramel on Instagram if you make it. I always love seeing your creations!

Portobello, Broccoli, Chickpea and Grain Salad with Fresh Lemon Basil Dressing
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Marinating
30 mins
Total Time
50 mins
 

Juicy portobellos rest on top of a savory salad of roasted broccoli, chickpeas, grains and tart apple tossed in a fresh lemon and basil dressing. The components for the salad are easy to prep ahead of time so this dish comes together in a snap.

Servings: 6 servings
Author: Crumbs & Caramel
Ingredients
For the Portobellos:
  • 4 portobellos, cleaned and stems removed
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp chili flakes
For the Lemon Basil Dressing:
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves (about 40-50g)
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp prepared mustard (or Dijon)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
For the Salad:
  • 2 1/2 cups grain of choice* , cooked and cooled to room temperature or chilled
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into very small florets
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups chickpeas, cooked
  • 1/2 shallot, diced small
  • 1 green apple, diced
Instructions
For the Portobellos:
  1. Place the portobellos gill side up on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Mix the marinade together in a small bowl. Spoon marinade equally over each mushroom. Let marinate for 30 minutes. If you don't have your grains cooked, now's the time to do it according to package directions. At the 15 minute mark for the marinating, preheat the oven to 400°F. In the meantime, prep the broccoli as per instructions below.

  2. Bake the portobellos for 15 minutes, then turn them over, brushing the tops with the marinade that has spilled out. Word of caution: have your stove exhaust fan on as things can get a bit smoky from the spilled marinade baking off. If you'd like to avoid this, you could carefully pour the marinade from each mushroom into a small dish before flipping. You could use a big serving spoon to cup the mushroom in one hand and pierce it with a fork in the other hand to keep the mushroom stable when pouring. Roast another 15 minutes. At this time, the broccoli can go into the oven, but place it on a rack above the mushrooms so the broccoli gets a bit charred. While the veggies are roasting, prep the dressing and salad.

For the Lemon Basil Dressing:
  1. Combine all dressing ingredients in a blender. Blend on high until smooth and creamy. Refrigerate.

For the Salad:
  1. Fluff the prepared grains with a fork and place in a large bowl.

  2. Toss the broccoli florets with the olive oil and spread out evenly on a baking sheet, baking for 15 minutes, tossing once during roasting. Let cool for 5 minutes then place in bowl with the grains. Add in the shallot and chickpeas.

To Assemble the Salad:
  1. When ready to serve, toss the grain and broccoli mixture with the apples. Add 1/3 cup dressing, toss, taste and adding more to suit your taste.  Plate the grain and broccoli mixture, then slice the portobellos into 5 or 6 even slices, placing over the salad. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

*the salad pictured had a pre-mixed blend of sprouted wild rice and quinoa which gave the salad a nice texture but if you don't have this mix on hand, you could use a different whole grain of your choice such as brown rice, all quinoa or barley.

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