This salad was built from the bottom up with a solid foundation of big hearty flavors that could appease any carnivore (as long as there’s still ice cream for dessert). We have incorporated some of our favorite ingredients we often add to salads, the only thing special about this one is how many of them come out to make their cameo.
The more I eat mushrooms, the more I want to eat mushrooms. I am always floored by the shear number of varieties out there and the dramatic differences between them. We used some Baby Bellas (AKA Crimini, AKA Brown, AKA Baby Portobello, AKA Roman, AKA Italian) but you could use any ‘shroom you like. Mushrooms add a ton of meaty, umami flavors that are a key component here.
Goat cheese adds creaminess, sunflower seeds add crunch, carrots add sweetness and color, chickpeas add heft. All of those listed above have a mild earthiness that, along with the mushrooms, give the salad weight that a meat would otherwise provide. The yogurt dressing ties everything together with a tangy-ness that makes it sing.
Hearty Vegetarian Salad with Mushrooms and Yogurt Dressing (printable recipe)
- 1/2 pound of mixed greens, we used a 50/50 spinach/greens blend
- 1 large carrot, peeled and grated
- 1/2 pound of mushrooms, sliced
- 2 ounces of goat cheese, crumbled
- 1/2 can of chickpeas, rinsed well
- 1/4 cup of dry roasted sunflower seeds
- the juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 tablespoons yogurt, we used Greek-style
Add a tablespoon of olive oil or butter to a medium-hot pan then add the mushrooms. Let them sit, undisturbed, for 2 minutes to allow them to brown a little. Then add a pinch of salt, a twist of pepper and turn occasionally until they are soft, about another 5 minutes.
For the dressing, combine in a jar or other container with a lid and shake well to combine. Set aside. When the salad is ready to serve, dress the greens and the carrots and plate.
Crumble the goat cheese, dish out the sauteed mushrooms, top with the chickpeas, and sprinkle on the roasted sunflower seeds. Sit back and enjoy a salad fit for a meal. It pairs well with a big white wine like a Chardonnay or a Viognier.