This ridiculously flavourful Black Garlic Mushroom Salad with Berries and Blue Cheese has so many layers, the title can’t quite capture it. Fried mushrooms with added black garlic, creating umami heaven, caramelised onions, crunchy romaine lettuce, berries to cut through the savouriness, topped with sourdough croutons and creamy blue cheese. All crowned with sweet and crunchy candied pecans. This is a celebration in a bowl.
This Week was Black Garlic Week.
40 days after I started my black garlic in my rice cooker, it was finally ready. Pitch black sticky little cloves of fruity-sweet caramelly umami goodness! Hints of liquorice mixed with balsamic undertones, inviting me to come up with all sorts of treats from savoury to sweet.
Wait what? Sweet? Yup. Cookies. You’ll get white chocolate chip black garlic cookies for dessert.
But first this salad, which was my meal prep dinner of the week.
Of course, starting with my weekly huge bowl of greens. This time in form of crunchy romaine and a mix of pretty baby leaves. But as always, the toppings are what makes salad one of my favourite things to eat: Black garlic fried mushrooms, wonderfully enhanced by the umami hit of it. Carrots to add more veggies, to keep you satisfied and for sweet cripness. Crunchy sourdough croutons, sweet, caramelised onions, tangy berries to cut through all the savoury flavours, topped with creamy blue cheese, playing with the black garlic’s fruity tones and caramelised pecans.
And of course my Black Garlic Cashew Ranch Dressing! A longtime favourite of mine is cashew ranch dressing. I mean sure, the classic is nice, but cashews add a whole new dimension and creaminess, without any mayo! A better nutrition profile too, due to the fibre and protein from the nuts minus the oil.
And obviously: Black Garlic. Which gives this an utterly irresistible depth, I have yet to find elsewhere. I also added fresh herbs, as I always find the dry ones in most recipes a bit disappointing.
Since it’s incredibly versatile, it got it’s own recipe post, so you can print it easily and use it in any salad you like.
Despite the long ingredients list, this Black Garlic Mushroom Salad is very easy to make. After chopping the ingredients, It just takes a little patience, to caramelise the onions, crisp the croutons, and fry the mushrooms to perfect golden crispness. The pecans can be made either in the pan or the oven, whichever you prefer. From there it’s just an assembly job, perfect for meal prep.
Ah yes, Meal Prep!
This Black Garlic Mushroom Salad with Berries and Blue Cheese makes 4 huge portions, suitable for Dinner and to keep you satisfied for a long time. Or 6, for a more standard portion size.
I meal prepped this for the week and kept the ingredients in separate containers in my fridge. Mushrooms, onions and croutons got quickly reheated in a pyrex dish in my air fryer and from there it took 5 minutes to assemble dinner after work.
Looking for more dinner ideas?
How about Sumac Roasted Cauliflower Steaks with Black Garlic Mushroom Sauce? Vegan, but no one will ever suspect it.
Or for the meat eaters among us, try Healthy Chicken Tacos. They all come with meal prep instructions.
Black Garlic Mushroom Salad
- 1 portion Black Garlic Ranch Dressing recipe here:
- 2 packs of Mushrooms
- 2 onions
- 2 romaine hearts
- 1 pack baby leaves
- 1 pack blackberries
- 1 pack raspberries
- 100 g blue cheese
- 3 carrots thinly sliced.
- 2-3 slices of good sourdough bread
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1.5 cups pecans
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ cup xylitol or crystallised sweetener of choice
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup 0 calorie maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp butter
- ¼ tsp kosher salt or more to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the pecans, cinnamon, xylitol (or sweetener of choice), maple syrup, 0-calorie maple syrup, vanilla extract, butter, and kosher salt. Stir well to coat the pecans evenly.
- Spread the coated pecans in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until the pecans are fragrant and golden brown. Stir them halfway through the baking time to ensure even browning. Alternatively, you can pan fry these.
- Remove the pecans from the oven and let them cool completely. Once cooled, they will become crunchy.
- While the pecans are cooling, prepare the rest of the salad ingredients.
- Clean the mushrooms and slice them into bite-sized pieces. Thinly slice the onions and carrots. Cut the Romaine hearts into bite-sized pieces.
- Spray a small pan with some olive oil and heat on medium. Add the onions and slowly caramelise them. Don’t rush this. They should become soft first, then golden brown.
- Spray a large pan with some olive oil and heat on high. Add the mushrooms and fry until beautifully golden brown and crispy. Season with salt and pepper at the end.
- Slice or rip the sourdough bread into bite sized pieces. Spray a pan with olive oil and fry them, turning often, until golden brown.
- In a large salad bowl, combine the baby leaves, sliced carrots, and Romaine hearts and top with some of the dressing. Combine thoroughly, so every leaf is coated.
- Top with blackberries, raspberries, candied pecans, fried mushrooms, onions, and croutons. Crumble the blue cheese over.
- Drizzle a little more of the black garlic ranch dressing over the salad, using as much as desired.
Total Estimated Nutrition per Portion:
Calories: Approximately 252-268
Fat: Approximately 10-11 grams
Protein: Approximately 9-11 grams
Carbohydrates: Approximately 35-38 grams
Fiber: Approximately 8-9 grams
Sugar: Approximately 11-14 grams Pecans, makes about 6-8 portions, depending on your willpower (mine is minimal):
Total Estimated Nutrition per Portion:
Calories: Approximately 294-310
Fat: Approximately 27-29 grams
Protein: Approximately 3-4 grams
Carbohydrates: Approximately 13-15 grams
Fiber: Approximately 3-4 grams
Sugar: Approximately 8-9 grams