Benefits of Adding Mushrooms to Your Salad
Adding mushrooms to your salad provides many nutritional benefits. Mushrooms are low in calories but high in nutrients like B vitamins, copper, potassium, selenium, and antioxidants. According to research, mushroom consumption is associated with a lower risk of cancer, especially breast and prostate cancer.
Mushrooms also contain prebiotics, which feed the good bacteria in your gut and support a healthy gut microbiome. A single serving of mushrooms can provide over half of your daily intake of copper and selenium, two important minerals for immune function and health.
In addition to nutritional benefits, mushrooms add texture, earthy flavor, and heartiness to salads. Mushrooms pair well with bitter greens like arugula and pair perfectly with creamy or tangy salad dressings in a mushroom salad. Adding a variety of mushrooms, nuts, whole grains and citrus segments to a mushroom salad maximizes nutrition, flavors and textures for a satisfying dish.
Whether adding raw or cooked mushrooms, a simple salad or a more complex recipe, mushrooms are a nutritional powerhouse and versatile ingredient perfect for salads any time of year. A mushroom salad can make a light summer meal on its own, or pair it with a whole grain like farro or quinoa for a heartier dish. Leftover mushroom salad also makes a great topping for sandwiches, pizza or tacos.
5 Easy Mushroom Salad Recipes for Any Occasion
Here are 5 delicious and nutritious mushroom salad recipes perfect for any occasion:
Simple Sautéed Mushroom Salad
– 8 oz mixed mushrooms (such as cremini, shiitake and oyster), sliced
– 2 tbsp olive oil
– 3 tbsp lemon juice
– 1/4 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese
– 2 tbsp chopped fresh herbs (such as chives, thyme and oregano)
– Salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and lightly browned, about 5-7 minutes.
2. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool slightly. Add the lemon juice, feta, herbs, salt and pepper and toss to combine. Serve immediately.
Nutrition Facts (1 serving): 140 calories, 12 g fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 210 mg sodium, 6 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 5 g protein.
Wild Mushroom and Farro Salad
– 1 cup farro (wiki link)
– Kosher salt
– Freshly ground black pepper
– 1 lb mixed wild mushrooms, such as chanterelle, porcini, hedgehog and oyster, trimmed and torn
– 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
– 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
– 2 ounces pecorino romano or parmesan, shredded (1/2 cup)
– 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
– 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
– 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1. Cook the farro in a pot of boiling salted water until tender but still chewy, about 25 minutes. Drain and spread on a baking sheet to cool.
- Meanwhile, season the mushrooms with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining mushrooms.
- Whisk the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, the vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Add the farro, mushrooms, cheese, onion, thyme and parsley and toss to coat. Season with more salt and pepper to taste and serve.
Nutrition Facts: Per serving: 290 calories; 14 g fat (2 g sat. fat); 5 mg chol; 370 mg sodium; 29 g carb (5 g fiber); 12 g pro.
How to Choose the Best Mushrooms for Your Salad
When selecting mushrooms for your salad, choose mushrooms that are Freshness is key, so look for mushrooms with a firm texture, smooth caps and no slimy spots. The gills underneath should be evenly colored. Avoid mushrooms with an ammonia-like smell.
Some of the best mushrooms for salads include:
•Cremini mushrooms: Creminis have an earthy, nutty flavor and a firm, meaty texture. They are great raw in salads or lightly cooked. Look for creminis with caps that are a warm brown color.
•Oyster mushrooms: Oyster mushrooms have a delicate, anise-like flavor and a slight peppery kick. Their shape resembles oyster shells. Oyster mushrooms are best lightly cooked for salads since they can get slimy when raw. cook them.
•Shiitake mushrooms: Shiitake mushrooms have an umami-rich, garlicky flavor and a spongy, meaty texture. Their caps have an umbrella-like shape. Shiitakes pair well in salads with Asian flavors. Remove the tough stems before adding them to your salad.
•Enoki mushrooms: Enoki mushrooms have a crunchy texture and a very mild flavor. Their long, delicate stems and tiny caps make them perfect for adding texture to salads. Simply trim the base of the stems and add them raw to your salad.
•Porcini mushrooms: Porcini mushrooms have an intense, savory flavor with hints of nuts and cocoa. They are ideal for hearty salads, as their thick caps and stems stand up well to bold ingredients. Porcinis are best rehydrated before adding to salads.
•Chanterelle mushrooms: Chanterelle mushrooms have a fruity aroma and a flavor reminiscent of apricots. They have an irregular, funnel-shaped cap and dense yellow gills. Chanterelles pair well with creamy or nutty ingredients in salads. Lightly sautéing chanterelles before adding them to your salad helps intensify their flavor.
In the end, choose mushrooms that appeal to you and experiment with different varieties and cooking methods to find your favorites. Adding an assortment of mushrooms to your salad creates contrasting flavors, textures and visual interest for maximum nutrition and enjoyment.
Tips for Making the Perfect Mushroom Salad Dressing
Here are some tips for making a delicious salad dressing to complement your mushroom salad:
•Keep it light. Mushrooms are delicate in flavor, so choose a dressing that won’t overpower them. Light vinaigrettes made from citrus juice, rice vinegar or light herbed oils pair well with mushrooms. Avoid thick, creamy dressings which can weigh down the salad.
•Balance savory and sweet. The umami flavor of mushrooms pairs nicely with a touch of sweetness. For example, whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey and herbs for a balanced vinaigrette. Or, make a light citrus dressing from orange juice, rice vinegar, olive oil and mint.
•Fresh herbs are key. Fresh or sun-dried herbs add flavor to salads and dressings without overpowering the mushrooms. Great options include thyme, rosemary, chives, mint, basil and oregano. Start with 1-2 tablespoons of fresh chopped herbs and add more to taste.
•Nut oils for extra flavor. Nut oils like walnut, hazelnut or pecan oil add richness and a subtle nutty flavor to dressings. Whisk in a tablespoon or two of nut oil to boost the flavor of a citrus vinaigrette or herbed dressing. Nut oils pair especially well with heartier or wild mushrooms like porcini or chanterelle.
•Sample dressing recipes:
- Lemon Vinaigrette: Whisk together 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice, 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 tsp honey, salt and pepper. Toss with arugula and cremini mushrooms.
- Walnut Vinaigrette: Blend 1/2 cup walnuts, 3 tbsp sherry vinegar and 1/2 cup olive oil. Add water 1-2 tbsp at a time until pourable. Toss with oyster mushrooms, spinach and goat cheese.
- Truffle Oil Dressing: Whisk 1/4 cup rice vinegar, 2 tbsp truffle oil, and 2 tbsp parsley. Toss with enoki or shiitake mushrooms and shaved parmesan.
In the end, choose a light, vibrant dressing that enhances the flavor of your mushrooms and complements the other ingredients in your salad. Make adjustments to the herbs, spices and oils in your dressing until you achieve a perfect balance of flavors. Your homemade mushroom salad and flavorful dressing will make a satisfying healthy meal.
Adding Other Healthy Ingredients to Your Mushroom Salad
In addition to mushrooms, add other nutritious ingredients to boost the nutrition and enhance the flavor of your salad. Some excellent options include:
•Beans like chickpeas, edamame or black beans add protein, fiber and healthy carbohydrates. They have an earthy flavor that complements mushrooms well. Add 1/2 to 1 cup of cooked beans to your salad.
•Nuts such as almonds, walnuts or pecans provide healthy fats, protein and various minerals. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of raw or lightly toasted nuts to your salad. Nut oils also make a great salad dressing base.
•Seeds such as pumpkin, sunflower or sesame seeds are crunchy, nutritious additions to salads. They provide fiber, protein and minerals like magnesium and iron. Add 2-3 tablespoons of seeds to your salad.
•Citrus segments like orange or grapefruit add a burst of vitamin C, bright acidity and natural sweetness to balance the savory flavors in a mushroom salad. Peel and segment 1 medium citrus fruit and add to your salad.
•Whole grains like farro, brown rice or quinoa make a hearty, satisfying mushroom salad. Cook 1/2 to 1 cup of whole grains and add to your salad. The nutty flavors and chewy textures pair well with mushrooms.
•Cheese in the form of crumbles, shavings or soft cheese adds richness, calcium, protein and a creamy texture. Good options for mushroom salads include feta, goat cheese, gouda or parmesan. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of cheese to your salad.
•Fresh or sun-dried tomatoes provide lycopene, acidity and intense flavor that complements earthy mushrooms. Chop 1/2 to 1 cup of tomatoes or sun-dried tomatoes and add to your salad.
•Leafy greens such as spinach, arugula or romaine form the base of a satisfying mushroom salad. Their bold, bitter flavors balance the rich umami of mushrooms. Add a few handfuls of washed and torn greens to your salad.
With a variety of healthy, flavorful additions you can turn a simple mushroom salad into a complete, balanced meal. Adding grains, beans, nuts and citrus will boost the nutrition, while cheese, tomatoes and leafy greens enhance flavors and textures. Your customized mushroom salad will satisfy and delight.
Making the Most of Your Mushroom Salad Leftovers
A homemade mushroom salad can make a satisfying meal on its own, with enough left over for lunches, snacks or new recipes. Here are some tips for storing and repurposing leftover mushroom salad:
•Properly store your salad. Place leftover mushroom salad in an airtight container and refrigerate within 2 hours of serving. Mushroom salads will last 3 to 5 days when stored properly. Do not leave salad unrefrigerated for more than 1 hour.
•Do not reheat the mushrooms. Mushrooms get mushy and lose texture when reheated. It is best to eat mushroom salads cold or at room temperature. You can reheat other components like beans, grains or leafy greens, but add the mushrooms just before serving to avoid overcooking them.
•Make mushroom salad sandwiches or wraps. Spread leftover mushroom salad on bread, buns or lettuce leaves for a delicious sandwich or wrap. The earthy mushrooms pair well with nutty or tangy ingredients like goat cheese, hummus or lemon aioli.
•Add to omelets or scrambles. Fold leftover mushroom salad into omelets, frittatas or scrambled eggs. The mushrooms provide savory flavor and texture to breakfast dishes. Top your mushroom omelet with cheese, fresh herbs and citrus segments.
•Use as a pizza or flatbread topping. Spoon leftover mushroom salad onto pizza, flatbread or bruschetta for a quick appetizer or light meal. Add olive oil, fresh mozzarella cheese and basil for an Italian-inspired mushroom flatbread.
•Stuff into crepes, tacos or lettuce cups. Wrap mushroom salad in crepes, lettuce cups or hard taco shells for a handheld snack or lunch. The earthy mushrooms pair well with creamy or spicy fillings. Add cheese, beans, salsa and sliced avocado.
•Mix into whole grain salads. Add leftover mushroom salad to whole grain salads like farro, wheat berry or brown rice salad. The hearty grains soak up the flavorful dressing and provide a balanced, satisfying dish. Add dried fruits, nuts and zesty vinaigrette to boost nutrition and flavor.
With proper storage and a little creativity, leftover mushroom salad can inspire nourishing, crave-worthy new recipes to enjoy all week long. Mushroom salads are versatile and pair well with many cuisines, so get inventive with spices, cheeses, greens and grains to make the most of your leftovers. Your delicious creations will make eating healthy homemade meals easy any day of the week.