A light and easy side dish, perfect to pair with your favourite grilled foods, this raw mushroom salad comes together in 10 minutes. This version has thinly sliced mushrooms and parmesan flakes and is dressed with olive oil, lime juice and chopped cilantro.
A less famous Italian recipe
Raw mushroom salad is one of those less famous Italian recipes, just like roasted pepper flans or shrimp in cocktail sauce. I often wondered why, since it’s so easy to make and such a potential crowd pleaser. There is nothing difficult about this salad recipe, and it comes together in 10 minutes. I remember that my mom used to make raw mushroom salad in the summer when I was growing up. Sometimes it was too hot for hot meals, and this salad was always such a refreshing option.
The original way to make this salad is with lemon juice and parsley, a combo widely used in Italian cuisine. In this raw mushroom salad recipe I decided to use two close alternatives: lime and cilantro. This gives the salad a slight Mexican twist, but you can go ahead and use lemon and parsley instead, if you prefer.
Like many vegetarian Italian recipes, you just need to omit the cheese to enjoy a vegan raw mushroom salad. Olive oil is the traditional condiment of choice in many Italian dishes, rather than butter. This makes it very easy to convert most vegetarian dishes into vegan ones, as often you just have to skip the cheese.
Raw mushroom salad ingredients
- Cultivated mushrooms – also known as button mushrooms or champignon, they are the cheapest, most easily available mushrooms you can find. And for this raw mushroom salad they’re just perfect.
- Olive oil – there is no better condiment you can use in a salad when you want to deliver that Mediterranean flavour. Single-origin extra-virgin olive oil just has to be the best possible choice.
- Lime juice – you need an acidic ingredient in your salad dressing and lime juice was just the perfect pairing with the next ingredient in this list.
- Cilantro – fresh coriander leaves have this citrusy quality that contrasts with the earthy and nutty tone of the mushrooms.
- Parmigiano flakes – not only do they look fabulous in a salad, but they pack each bite with salty flavour.
- Salt & pepper – can’t live without the classics.
How to make raw mushroom salad
The most difficult step in this salad, the one that takes up most of the 10 minutes it takes this recipe, is slicing the mushrooms. I’ve always preferred it with thinly sliced mushrooms and that obviously requires a little more focus than a quick chop. Clean the mushrooms from any soil that might have been attached to their stem, cut them in half and then proceed to thinly slice them. You can choose to use a mandoline. Place sliced mushrooms in a bowl.
Combine the olive oil, lime juice and a pinch of salt in a small jar. Add 2 tbsp of chopped fresh cilantro. Close the lid of the jar and shake vigorously to combine. Pour the mixture over the sliced mushrooms.
Toss the mushrooms to distribute the dressing all over. Feel free to add more olive oil or more lime juice to taste. Top the salad with parmigiano flakes and freshly cracked black pepper.
As a finishing touch you can decorate the salad with some cilantro leaves and lime slices. Chill in the fridge for a couple of hours to enjoy a properly cold salad when the summer is at its peak. Or make it any time of the year, as a nice side dish to your favourite meat recipes.
Is raw mushroom salad safe?
Eating raw mushrooms is quite uncommon. Most people will recommend cooking mushrooms before consumption. The world of mushrooms is big, and indeed it includes varieties that are toxic. But cultivated mushrooms are the most harmless of them all. What makes them even more safe to eat raw is the fact that they come refrigerated, which dramatically reduces their level of agaritine (the baddest toxin in button ‘shrooms).
This raw mushrooms salad is not completely raw-raw if we want to say it all. The addition of lime juice causes denaturation, a process similar to cooking. It is what makes raw meat safer to eat in carpaccio. By the way, if you like carpaccio you definitely have to check out my smoked salmon carpaccio with raw asparagus. Asparagus is pretty uncommon raw, too, but it’s so good!
More mushroom goodness!
I have a slight obsession with button mushrooms. I love their texture, I love that they are so versatile and so cheap! I always leave the store after a grocery haul with one or two packages of cultivated mushrooms! As I’m trying to consume less meat, I find mushrooms an excellent food to prepare when I want to skip making a meat main. Here are some other button mushroom recipes from this blog:
- Buttery mushroom crostini with garlic and goat cheese crumbles
- Hazelnut and cream cheese filled mushroom caps
- Mushroom and parmigiano mini shortcrust tarts
- Creamy chicken and mushroom skillet stew
Raw mushroom salad
Easy raw mushroom salad made with cultivated mushrooms, parmigiano flakes, cilantro, olive oil and lime. A great side dish ready in 10 minutes!
- 8 button mushrooms (appr. 130 g)
- 40 g olive oil
- 1/2 lime juiced
- 2 tbsp fresh cilantro chopped
- 30 g parmigiano flakes
- salt & pepper
Clean the mushrooms from any residual soil. Cut in half and proceed to thinly slice them. Add the sliced mushrooms to a bowl.
In a small jar combine the olive oil, lime juice, chopped cilantro and a pinch of salt. Close the jar and shake it vigorously to mix.
Pour the dressing mixture over the mushrooms and toss to combine. Top with parmigiano flakes and freshly cracked black pepper.