Warm Basalmic Mushroom Salad with Pine Nut Parmesan from The First Mess Cookbook

Warm Balsamic Mushroom Salad with Pine Nut Parmesan from The First Mess Cookbook. Loaded with spinach and navy beans. Vegan and Gluten Free. If you happen to follow along here, then you will know that Laura Wright of The First Mess needs no introduction. Her gorgeous plant based blog and recipes have always been an inspiration to me, and I’m sure to a lot of you too. She is a genius when it comes to a good sauce (hello creamy garlic dressing) and has a knack for celebrating the beauty of each season through her vibrant food and photography.

Her new book is filled with easy nourishing meal ideas, served along side insightful cooking tips that will make plant based cooking approachable to everyone. Flipping through the pages of her book will make you feel like you’ve got seat at her kitchen table, just lucky enough to grab a glimpse into her dreamy kitchen and backyard garden. I’ve got my eye on the farro and pine nut chard rolls,  the miso millet polenta and the fluffiest wholegrain pancakes. A warm mushroom salad seemed like just the thing for this almost spring weather, and I’m forever a sucker for a good sprinkle (pass the pine nut parm, svp).

Here’s to you, Laura, and all that you do.

Warm Balsamic Mushroom Salad with Pine Nut Parmesan from The First Mess Cookbook. Loaded with spinach and navy beans. Vegan and Gluten Free.


From The First Mess Cookbook by Laura Wright.

I am putting Laura’s recipe here verbatim. I ended up cooking the mushrooms in batches due to the small size of my skillet. I wanted the mushrooms to get a nice sear on them during those fews minutes in the pan, but a large skillet is definitely necessary otherwise. This salad served 2 with minimal leftovers, what was left was simply reheated in the pan and tossed with some pasta the following day. Again sprinkled with a generous amount of pine nut parmesan. Equally delicious.


Pine nut Parmesan

1/2 cup raw pine nuts
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper, to taste


1/3 cup virgin olive oil, divided
1 pound (454g) cremini mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
salt and pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves (about 2 sprigs)
2 cups cooked navy beans
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
4 cups baby arugula


Make the pine nut parmesan. Combine the pine nuts, sesame seeds, lemon zest, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, and salt and pepper in a food processor. Whiz on high until you have a crumbly, parmesan-like texture. Set aside.

Make the salad. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large saute pan. Throw all of the mushrooms into the pan and let them sit for a full minute. Season the mushrooms with pepper and the minced thyme. Stir and flip the mushrooms and let them sit for another full minute.

Add the navy beans to the pan and stir, when the mushrooms begin to glisten and wilt slightly, season with salt and add the garlic to the pan. Stir the mushrooms and beans until garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of the olive oil to the pan, along with the balsamic vinegar. Stir everything to combine. The mixture should be moist and lightly juicy.

Divide the arugula among 4 dinner plates. Top each mound of arugula with a quarter of the mushrooms and beans, spooning the liquid from the pan over the greens. Finish off each plate with a generous dusting of pine nut parmesan. Serve warm.

Let me in on your kitchen creations – tag your photos #happyheartedkitchen and share the love!


  • Reply
    Sophie MacKenzie
    March 24, 2017 at 6:20 pm

    This looks just like the thing I need on these chilly spring days! And these pics! I always love your photos, Jodi <3

    • Reply
      March 25, 2017 at 9:43 am

      HI SOPHIE! Thanks for stopping by and saying hi. Hope you’re well, looks like spring has sprung where you are – have fun playing in the dirt x

  • Reply
    Sarah | Well and Full
    March 26, 2017 at 10:39 pm

    I first saw Laura’s pine nut parm on her brussels sprouts caesar salad on the blog, and I immediately fell in love with the idea! And I love the way it’s used in this recipe :) Love seeing your take on it, Jodi!! <3

    • Reply
      March 27, 2017 at 10:17 am

      Thank you, Sarah! Although I can’t take credit for any recipe here, it’s all Laura! Hope you’re well my friend x

  • Reply
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