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Salad of Grilled Portobello Mushrooms Topped with Ricotta and Semi-Dried Tomatoes

posted: 06/30/10
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Salad of Grilled Portobello Mushrooms Topped with Ricotta and Semi-Dried Tomatoes
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INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 small heirloom tomatoes (about 2 pounds/900 g total), halved and cored
  • 3 tablespoons/45 ml plus 1/2 cup/120 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 portobello mushrooms, stems removed
  • 8 ounces/225 g ricotta cheese
  • 8 ounces/225 g fresh baby spinach leaves or mixed baby greens
  • 2 tablespoons/30 ml balsamic vinegar

PREPARATION:

To prepare the semi-dried tomatoes:

  1. Preheat the broiler to low. Place the tomatoes cut side up on a baking sheet. Drizzle 1 tablespoon/15 ml of olive oil over the tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt. Broil the tomatoes for about 15 minutes or until the tomatoes become tender and lose some of their moisture, and the tops are slightly charred. If the broiler only has one temperature setting of high heat, set the pan of tomatoes on a lower rack so that they do not overcook or brown too much.
  2. Set the tomatoes aside to cool completely. Alternatively, the tomatoes may be dried by the sun when the temperature outside is at least 100?F/38?C. To do so, cover the baking sheet of tomatoes with cheesecloth, raised so it does not touch the tomatoes (this will help keep out any debris or insects), and place the baking sheet directly in the hot sun for about 8 hours.

To prepare the salad:

  1. Meanwhile, preheat the barbecue to medium-high heat. Place the mushrooms gill side up on a baking sheet and drizzle 1/4 cup/60 ml of oil over the gills. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Turn the mushrooms over and rub 1/4 cup/60 ml of oil over the caps of the mushrooms. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  2. Place the mushrooms gills side down on the grill rack and cook for 5 to 8 minutes (depending on the thickness of the mushrooms) or until the mushrooms are heated through. Turn the mushrooms over and place a small spoonful of the ricotta cheese in middle of the mushrooms.
  3. Cover and continue grilling the mushrooms for 5 to 8 minutes or until the cheese is hot. Cut the semi-dried tomatoes in half then place them in a large bowl with the spinach leaves.
  4. Drizzle the balsamic vinegar and remaining 2 tablespoons/30 ml of olive oil over the spinach and tomatoes and toss to coat. Season the salad to taste with salt and pepper. Divide the salad among 4 serving plates. Place 2 portobello mushrooms atop each salad and serve.
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