Oven-Roasted Shiitake Mushroom & Vegetable Salad

This room temperature salad is also wonderful served over grilled slices of polenta.

1½ pounds baby Shiitake mushrooms, washed
1 large sweet onion, cut into large chunks
⅓ cup olive oil, divided
1 medium zucchini
6 fresh plum tomatoes, seeded and halved
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup sliced fresh basil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
Pinch of hot red pepper flakes
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

1. Place mushrooms in a large bowl with onion wedges. Add 4 teaspoons olive oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Toss well. Arrange in a single layer on large shallow baking pan and roast uncovered on bottom shelf in 400° oven for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. While the mushrooms and onions are roasting, cut zucchini in half lengthwise and then crosswise into 1-inch pieces and place in the same bowl and add tomatoes; toss with remaining olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Place tomatoes cut side up on another baking sheet with zucchini and roast in oven with mushrooms for another 15-20 minutes or until softened and sizzling. Remove vegetables from oven and spoon into a large serving bowl.

3. In a measuring cup combine the vinegar, basil, garlic, hot pepper flakes and parsley and pour over warm vegetables. Toss lightly; serve at room temperature as side dish or on grilled polenta for main course.

Tip: You can also prepare the vegetables in a grill pan on the barbecue.

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