Grilled Chicken & Mushroom Salad on Romesco Sauce Recipe

The Mediterranean diet, celebrated for its health benefits and delicious flavors, has long been a favorite among nutrition experts and culinary enthusiasts alike.

Central to this diet is the versatile mushroom, a staple ingredient praised for its health benefits, affordability, and accessibility.

Incorporating mushrooms into daily meals aligns perfectly with the Mediterranean diet’s emphasis on a variety of produce, whole grains, beans, nuts, and healthy fats, which together support heart, bone, and joint health while being diabetic-friendly.

  • The Mediterranean diet has been ranked the best overall diet by US News & World Report for seven consecutive years, a testament to its effectiveness and the high regard in which it is held by medical and nutrition professionals worldwide.

This dietary pattern promotes the consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, olive oil, and herbs daily, with moderate intake of poultry, fish, and dairy, and limited consumption of red meat and sweets. Research, including studies by the Harvard School of Public Health and Healthline, consistently shows that this diet reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases, supports cognitive function, and promotes longevity.

So why do mushrooms make the Mediterranean cut?

  • Mushrooms are their own unique food category, fungi, but they eat like vegetables and offer most of the same health benefits.
  • Mushrooms are highly nutritious and deliver an array of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants with every bite.
  • Mushrooms contain protein and fibre while being low in sodium and cholesterol.
  • Mushrooms are economical and available in the chiller section of most supermarkets.
  • Mushrooms work well with many other Mediterranean staples, from tomatoes and courgettes, to pasta and seafood.
  • Mushrooms are great substitutes for meat! Since meat is eaten only seldom on the Mediterranean diet, mushrooms offer a wonderful umami-rich alternative.

We delve into two delectable recipes that embody the principles of the Mediterranean diet: a hearty Mushroom, Kale & Cannellini Bean Soup and a vibrant Grilled Chicken & Mushroom Salad on Romesco Sauce. These dishes not only highlight the nutritional benefits of mushrooms but also demonstrate the rich, diverse flavors that make the Mediterranean diet so appealing.

Grilled Chicken & Mushroom Salad on Romesco Sauce

Serves 4


Romesco sauce:

  • 2 large / 3 medium red bell peppers
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 75g blanched almonds, roughly chopped
  • 75g sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 Tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 60g olive oil


  • 2 large free-range chicken breasts
  • 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 250g portabellini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 150g mixed lettuce leaves
  • 125g cherry tomatoes, halves
  • 100g cucumber, sliced
  • 50g edamame beans, shelled
  • 1 small shallot, sliced thinly
  • 2 limes, halved, for serving
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil, for cooking


For the romesco sauce:

  1. Preheat oven onto grill setting and move rack to top third.
  2. Slice peppers into quarters away from the seeds, removing any white membrane.
  3. Place pieces skin side up on a baking tray.
  4. Drizzle with a little olive oil and rub into the peppers.
  5. Grill for 15 minutes until blistered, charred and soft.
  6. Quickly place peppers in a bowl and cover with cling film.
  7. Allow to steam until cool and then scrape the skins off with a knife.
  8. Place the rest of the ingredients, minus the olive oil, in a blender.
  9. Blend the ingredients together well and then slowly drizzle in the olive oil.
  10. A bit of texture in this sauce is lovely so do not blend too smooth.
  11. Taste to adjust seasoning.
  12. If you would like it smoother, add a splash of cold water and blend further.
  13. Set sauce aside in the fridge until serving.

For the rest of the salad:

  1. Heat a cast iron grill pan or braai.
  2. In a bowl – drizzle the chicken breasts with a little olive oil.
  3. Scatter over the paprika and onion powder.
  4. Season well with salt and pepper.
  5. Mix to coat well.
  6. Grill the chicken breasts until lightly charred and cooked through.
  7. Set aside to rest.
  8. Heat a large frying pan on medium-high heat.
  9. Add a drizzle of olive oil.
  10. When hot, add the mushrooms.
  11. Cook until golden brown.
  12. Season with salt, pepper and sherry vinegar.

To assemble the salad:

  1. Spread some romesco sauce onto the bottom of four shallow bowls.
  2. Drizzle over a little olive oil.
  3. Slice chicken and add to a mixing bowl with the mushrooms and the rest of the salad ingredients.
  4. Toss briefly.
  5. Plate onto the romesco sauce.
  6. Serve with a generous squeeze of fresh lime juice and enjoy!.

From diabetic-friendly Roasted Hake on Tomato & Mushroom Lentils to superfood salads like Roasted Mushroom Niçoise, you’ll find a multitude of Mediterranean mushroom meals to suit your palate at

Mushroom, Kale & Cannellini Bean Soup Recipe

3 Course Lunch with Beer Tasting at Clos Malverne Restaurant