Now that the grills are heating up, it’s time to have a meatless burger that is easy, delicious, and appealing to vegetarians and meat eaters alike. Enter the portobello mushroom burger! I am so enamored of these juicy burgers that I would easily choose them over any other veggie burger. And they couldn’t be easier to prepare. Just cut off the stem as close to the cap as possible, rub the cap on both sides with olive oil, and grill the mushroom until very brown and juicy, flipping it over occasionally. Season with salt and pepper. During the winter or whenever I don’t have access to a grill, I use a cast iron griddle or frying pan and have very good results.
The creative part comes with the sauce you can develop to spread on the burger rolls. Here are a few of my favorite concoctions:
- wasabi mayonnaise – mix wasabi powder with a bit of water to make a paste, then mix in enough mayonnaise to generously coat the rolls you have
- chipotle mayonnaise – mix some chipotle powder and a bit of ketchup (or a minced chipotle pepper in adobo sauce) into mayonnaise
- chimichurri sauce- this Argentinian sauce is made by pureeing a generous amount of fresh parsley with some olive oil, a splash of vinegar, a bit of garlic, salt, and pepper, and a bit of crushed red pepper flakes (optional). The thick sauce gets spooned on the burger roll, and you can also add some mayo, but it is not essential
- tzatziki – Mix plain Greek yogurt with lots of fresh dill, grated cucumber that has been squeezed dry in your hands, and a bit of garlic.
Another alluring addition to these grilled mushrooms can be a special cheese that gets melted on the hot juicy mushrooms. Try Monterey Jack with jalapeno peppers, muenster, feta, or blue cheese.
And don’t forget sliced tomato and some greens – a soft lettuce or arugula are perfect toppings.