Mushroom and potato salad recipe

Posted by Justin Bonello on 2 December 2011

This is one of my favourite salads because I get to layer the flavours. What do I mean? Make it and see. Just one note, make sure all your hot ingredients have cooled down before adding them to your salad leaves or they’ll go brown and verlep.


  • about 500 g baby potatoes
  • sunflower oil
  • a whole whack of mushrooms (dried, porcini, Portobello,
  • white button and giant browns)
  • butter
  • 2 cloves of garlic – peeled and crushed
  • a smattering of crushed salt
  • a bunch of leeks – sliced
  • 1 cup chickpeas
  • olive oil
  • red onion – finely chopped
  • black pepper
  • cos lettuce
  • rocket
  • sesame oil
  • 15 or so fresh litchis
  • (or one tin preserved litchis)
  • peeled, de-pipped and cut in half
  • 1 cup mixed sprouts
  • lemon (optional)



Start by parboiling the potatoes (skin and all) until they’re almost done. Remove from the heat and once they’ve cooled down enough to handle, squash them one by one with the palm of your hand, until they just break open. Next, heat up a large pan of sunflower oil and carefully add your potatoes – try using a spoon rather than your bare hands! Fry until golden and crispy on the outside but still fluffy inside. Once done, hide them away from your friends, or you’ll have nothing left to put in the salad.

Take all those lovely mushrooms and slice them up. Heat up a non-stick pan, add a generous knob of butter, the mushrooms and all the garlic. Do as Julia Child tells you and ‘don’t crowd the mushrooms’. Once they’re cooking add a smattering of crushed salt for flavour. Fry until all the moisture is released and the mushrooms are nicely browned. Make sure that no one is watching you and add them to the potatoes.

Now, using the same pan, fry your leeks and when they’re soft set aside and let them cool down. Chuck your chickpeas into a bowl, drizzle with olive oil, red onion, about 2 cloves of crushed garlic and a sprinkling of black pepper. Mix it around.

Toss the salad leaves in a good splash of sesame seed oil. Put them in a wide-bottomed salad bowl and season with crushed salt and black pepper. Next, layer in the mushrooms and potatoes, leeks,
litchis, chickpeas and sprouts and drizzle with a good quality olive oil. Finish the whole lot off with some more cracked pepper.


This recipe is taken from my new cookbook: Justin Bonello Cooks…For Friends. Buy it here for R199.95.

Photo by Louis Hiemstra

Food styling by Jules Mercer


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