By Request


Marinated mushrooms
create a salad to die for

Norman Asao, executive chef at Honolulu Country Club, insists that his portobello mushrooms are nothing special. Lots of people around town marinate and broil them the same way, he says.

Given the testimonial of Kate Chinen, though, methinks he underestimates his dish.

Chinen ate at the club on Secretary's Day 1999, almost exactly three years ago, yet these mushrooms are much on her mind. "Everyone raved about it. I haven't tasted a portobello mushroom dish as good as that one. I've been looking for the recipe ever since."

Haven't seen a recommendation that positive in a long time.

Asao says he usually serves the mushrooms atop a salad, or sometimes in a sandwich. And he normally uses the smaller portobellini mushrooms, about half the size of portobellos.

A couple of notes: This may seem like a lot of marinade, but I found in trying out the recipe that it does take a lot to coat the surface area of these large mushrooms, and they soak up a lot. Asao's suggestion of using a plastic bag to marinate is a good one; it's the best way to assure even coating, since the mushrooms are so bulky. Finally, try to get all the minced garlic from the marinade onto mushrooms -- during broiling, the garlic turns nice and toasty.

Chinen is right. It is quite delicious.

Portobellini Salad

6 portobellini mushrooms or 2 to 3 portobello mushrooms, depending on size
8 cups mixed greens
Grated Parmesan cheese
>> Marinade:
6 ounces (3/4 cup) extra virgin olive oil
3 ounces (6 tablespoons) balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
>> Salad Dressing:
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1-1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
Salt and pepper to taste

Whisk marinade ingredients together. Place mushrooms and marinade in a plastic bag, seal and shake to coat mushrooms. Marinate 10 minutes.

Broil mushrooms 5 to 8 minutes per side, until cooked through. Cool, then slice.

Whisk dressing ingredients together. Toss greens with dressing, 1/4 cup at a time, to taste. Top salad with mushrooms and garnish with Parmesan cheese. Serves 4.

Approximate nutritional analysis, per serving (2 tablespoons) dressing per salad and not including Parmesan cheese or salt to taste: 640 calories, 61 g total fat, 8 g saturated fat, no cholesterol, greater than 60 mg sodium, 19 g carbohydrate, 6 g protein

Food Stuffs: Morsels

Send queries along with name and phone number to:
"By Request," Honolulu Star-Bulletin,
500 Ala Moana, No. 7-210, Honolulu 96813.
Or send e-mail to

Asterisk (*) after nutritional analyses in the
Body & Soul section indicates calculations by
Joannie Dobbs of Exploring New Concepts,
a nutritional consulting firm.

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