Portabellini & Toasted Walnuts on Greens

By • April 10, 2011 • 2 Comments

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Author Notes: The cocoa colored crimni mushroom, sometimes marketed as portabellini, is an immature white mushroom after its flesh has darkened and in maturity is called portobello. Earthy, meaty and rich, this salad is my version of a deconstructed spinach salad minus the traditional saturated fats normally used. Besides serving on a plate stand alone, I have also served it in a pre-baked phyllo dough tart shell, for a crispy bite (picture 2), the choice is yours to make.lapadia

Serves 4 generously - up to 6- 8 people

DRESSING – make first...in order to prepare this recipe

  • 2 tablespoons sherry
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon
  • 1-1/2 tablespoon tamari (low sodium)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
  • 8 grinds of fresh pepper
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup walnut oil
  1. Combine and whisk all dressing ingredients together – set aside until needed.


  • 10 large portabellini mushrooms – thin sliced through the center
  • 2/3 cup whole walnuts
  • Sea Salt
  • 1 small cippolini onion – chopped
  • 2 cloves finely minced garlic
  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach and greens, a 50/50 mixture – rinsed and drained.
  • 6 phyllo dough sheets –optional
  • Fresh ground pepper.
  1. Toast the walnuts: toss the walnuts with 1-1/2 tablespoons of the prepared dressing, add a sprinkle of sea salt. Oil a small baking sheet with 1 tablespoon walnut oil, add the coated walnuts and toast in a pre-heated 350° oven for 8 minutes, stir half way through.
  2. After taking out of the oven, scrape the walnuts onto a plate, ASAP, so that they don’t stick to the baking sheet. Set aside until needed.
  3. OPTIONAL – if using one, prepare the phyllo shell: in a 9 inch tart pan criss-cross to layer the phyllo sheets, layer sheets one by one, lightly brushing each with walnut oil, all the way out to the ends, as well, to each layer, add a light sprinkle of sea salt. Turn in the edges - I like a rustic look. Bake in a 350° oven 8-10 minutes – set aside to let cool, about a half hour. Note: the middle of the phyllo crust will puff up, don’t worry about it; just press it down after taking out of the oven. Otherwise skip to step 4.
  4. Thin slice the mushrooms through the middle. Chop the cippollini. Finely mince the garlic cloves…keep these ingredients separate from each other – set aside.
  5. Rinse and drain the greens, then toss with a few drizzles of the dressing, enough to lightly coat. Evenly add to salad plates or onto the cooled phyllo shell - if using one.
  6. Heat 2 tablespoons of the dressing over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the onion and cook until softened a bit, about 2-3 minutes. Add mushrooms, stir gently, to coat, cook just until they start to release their juices, about 5 minutes.
  7. Drizzle in another tablespoon of dressing, add the garlic and a little pepper, toss and cook for another minute.
  8. Arrange the mushroom-onion mixture over the greens.
  9. Top with the walnuts, scatter throughout.
  10. Release the phyllo shell from the tart pan, slice and serve with additional dressing for those who want more.

Tags: Vegetarian

Comments (2) Questions (0)


over 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Wonderful idea, fantastic salad. It's a whole meal, YUM!


over 2 years ago lapadia

Thanks for your kind comment, sdebrango! Would love to hear if you try it sometime :)