What’s For Dinner?


Misto's Entree Salad

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From the menu of . . . Misto
1950 Howell Mill Road N.W., Atlanta

Q: I ate the entree salad at Misto last weekend. It was delicious, perfect for anyone's diet, and something that I'd like to re-create at home. The dressing is what really brought this salad to life. If you could get the recipe from the chef, I would be most appreciative.
- Janice Convoy-Hellmann, Atlanta

A: "I've gotten a lot of compliments - people say it's the best salad they've ever had, " admits chef-owner Ryan Aiken of his salad, which comes with a big pile of spinach in the center surrounded by all sorts of interesting toppings. That way, Aiken says, everyone can mix in exactly what they want.

Hands on time: 20 minutes  Total time: 30 minutes  Serves: 2


    1 large portobello mushroom cap
    Misto Salad Dressing (recipe at right)
    6 cups spinach, thinly sliced
    2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
    2 tablespoons golden raisins
    2 ounces mountain Gorgonzola cheese
    1/4 cup thinly sliced red onions
    1/4 cup chickpeas
    1/2 roasted red pepper, sliced into strips

    Misto Salad Dressing
    2/3 cup (2-4 servings)
    Hands on: 5 minutes
    Total time: 5 minutes

    1/3 cup best-quality extra virgin olive oil
    1/3 cup best-quality balsamic vinegar
    1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
    1/2 teaspoon whole-grain mustard
    1/8 teaspoon chopped fresh garlic
    1/8 teaspoon sea salt
    1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    2 large fresh basil leaves, chopped
    1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning


Brush the mushroom cap lightly with the salad dressing, and grill until tender. Cut into slices. Divide the spinach between 2 plates. Place the mushroom slices, pine nuts, raisins, Gorgonzola, red onions, chickpeas and roasted red pepper in a circle around the spinach. Serve with the remaining dressing.

For Misto Salad Dressing:
In a blender or food processor, or in a bowl using a whisk, whip together the oil and vinegar. Whip in the lemon juice, then add the mustard, garlic, salt, pepper and basil. Crush the Italian seasoning, and add to the vinaigrette. Whisk the dressing to emulsify.


This salad comes with everything "on the side" so that diners can build it to their liking. The allotment of dressing is generous --- plan on using only about half of it.


Per serving of salad (based on 4 servings of dressing): 411 calories (percent of calories from fat, 66), 13 grams protein, 25 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams fiber, 32 grams fat (9 grams saturated), 25 milligrams cholesterol, 625 milligrams sodium.

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