Marinated mushroom, watercress & pomegranate salad11

Posted on December 2, 2011 by ChristieDinner Time, Vegan, Vegetarian

Mushrooms are not usually a vegetable associated with the Aussie festive season during Summer time. Which is a shame, because they are such a versatile ingredient.

I’m the first to admit that mushrooms are in their element when braised in Winter stews, stroganoff, pasta sauces and slathered in butter and garlic for a stick-to-your-ribs hearty breakfast on a chilly morning, but there is so much more to mushrooms.

Summer mushroom dishes are quick and easy to prepare and most importantly, they are light and healthy, which is what we are all looking for at this gluttonous time of year (or is that just me?). Dare to be a little bit different with mushrooms!

Mushrooms are absolutely wonderful marinated as they soak up flavours and moisture quicker than a sponge. Once marinated they keep for a few days in the fridge and can be used in a myriad of ways; in salads (as seen above), on antipasto boards, next to cheese on a toothpick or skewered and BBQ’d.

Speaking of BBQ’s, have you tried mushrooms on yours? If not, you are really missing out. The combination of the meaty texture and juiciness of mushrooms coupled with chargrilled edges is completely intoxicating. Seriously. Put it on your must-cook bucket list.

This year I am helping the Australian Mushroom Growers Association spread the word to Aussies about eating delicious mushrooms during Summer time. I’ve recruited some fantastic bloggers who are going to knock your socks off with inspiration for Mushroom Salads, Mushroom Festive Dishes and Mushroom BBQ dishes.

There will be so many recipes you’re not going to know how you ever got through Summer before without eating mushrooms! Stay tuned as I’ll be posting a monthly round up of links to all the participating bloggers and their yummy mushroom recipes.

I’m the first cab off the rank with this festive salad offering that would be right at home next to turkey, ham, pork or duck. It is also a great salad to take with you to a festive event or BBQ as the mushrooms can be marinated ahead of time and then the salad quickly assembled once you arrive.

So, go on, head out to your local green grocer to pick up some mushies for this salad. I’m sure you’ve got an event coming up it will be perfect for!

Christie x

This recipe content is proudly sponsored by the Australian Mushroom Growers Association who compensated me for creating the recipe as part of the Summer Mushrooms campaign. For more details check out their My Mushrooms blog.

Marinated mushroom, watercress & pomegranate salad recipe

serves 6-8 as a side dish

125ml olive oil
50ml white balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons fresh dill, leaves only, finely chopped
1 blood orange, sliced in half
400g button mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
1/2 fresh pomegranate
1 large bunch watercress, thick stems discarded

1. Place the oil, vinegar and dill into a large bowl. Squeeze one half of the blood orange into the bowl (reserve the other half for garnish), season with salt and pepper, and then whisk until combined.

2. Add the mushrooms to the marinade and stir until all the mushrooms are thoroughly coated. Cover and place in the fridge to marinate for 2-3 hours or overnight.

3. To easily remove the seeds from the pomegranate, slice it in half and hold it, cut-side down, over a bowl. Using a wooden spoon, hit the skin-side firmly several times. The seeds should fall into the bowl, ready for use. Set aside.

4. Wash the watercress, remove any tough stems and place into a mixing bowl. Drain the marinade from the mushrooms and pour over the watercress. Toss to coat and then arrange on a serving platter, leaving any excess marinade behind.

5. Arrange the mushrooms on top of the watercress and garnish with pomegranate seeds and slices of blood orange.

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