Do you know how hard it is to find Portobello mushrooms in this island?
Well, very hard.
They have asparagus but no Portobello mushrooms???!!?
I have been wanting to make this salad for 3 weeks now but for some reason, it seems like no supermarket in Virgin Gorda carries Portobello mushrooms.
After requesting it many times and being told that they do not sell (?!!!???) I decided to make a trip to Tortola to get some.
Tortola is a 30 minutes (one-way) boat ride from Virgin Gorda.
Here is a little geography lesson for you:
British Virgin Islands consist of Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost Van Dyke along with 50 other smaller islands and cays. According to Wikipedia, only 15 of these islands are inhabited.
Tortola is the biggest one. It also is home to the capital, Road Town. With close to 23,000 people living, it offers more options when it comes to grocery shopping. My favorite supermarket in Tortola is Rite Way. They get shipments on Sundays and Wednesday, which means that products will be on shelves on Monday and Thursday. If you go on those days you can find more options than any other day of the week. Especially when it comes to fresh produce…
You see what I had to go through to make this salad???
Now, I can hear you say:
“For God’s sake, who cares about how hard it is to find Portobello mushrooms when you are living in island that is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world?”
Aaaaand you are right. Yes, it was hard when we first moved here, but I got used to it. I learned to cook with what I can find.
Okay. Now, I am going to stop complaining and move on to the salad.
There are 3 things you need to know about this salad.
- It is quick, simple and delicious.
- It is packed with nutrients.
- You can eat it by itself or serve it as a side dish to any protein.
When you look at the ingredients you may think that the dressing maybe very acidic. When I first read it I thought that way too, but believe me, the end result was just the right amount of acidic, sweet and sour combination.
Just like it should be!
- 1 Shallot, peeled and finely minced
- 1 Teaspoon Rice Vinegar
- 1 ½ Teaspoon White Wine Vinegar
- 1 Teaspoon Granulated Sugar
- 1 Teaspoon Soy Sauce or Bragg
- 2 Teaspoons Water
- 1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
- 1 Teaspoon Lime Juice, freshly squeezed
- ⅛ Teaspoon Coarse Salt (optional)
- 1 Teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- ½ lb. Portobello Mushrooms, wipe cleaned and sliced
- 1 lb Asparagus, washed.
- 2 Teaspoons Black Sesame Seeds toasted
- Make the dressing by whisking together the shallot, vinegars, sugar, water, sesame oil, lime juice and salt. Taste it and season with salt if you find it necessary. Set it aside.
- Steam the asparagus until it is bright green and still crisp, about 5 minutes. Let it cool for 10 minutes and slice them into 2 inch pieces.
- Sautee mushrooms in a skillet until the moisture released by the mushrooms has evaporated and they are golden brown, 7 to 8 minutes.
- Place the mushrooms and asparagus into a serving platter and evenly drizzle it with the dressing.
- When ready to eat sprinkle it with toasted sesame seeds.
Recipe slightly adapted from Gwyneth Paltrow and Julia Turshen’s cookbook, “It’s All Good”