Veggie burgers might be the first thought for a meatless entrée when you’re firing up the grill, but if you’re looking for something to rival a big juicy burger, your best bet is actually a portabello mushroom. Yes, a big mushroom on a bun. A bit unexpected, but true.
Mushrooms are polarizing to some, but let me just say – portabellos are not the same as those slimy black bits in cream of mushroom soup (which made me wary of mushrooms for decades). No, these are juicy, savory, and totally delicious. I was wary of mushrooms for years until I met the portabello. Now, I can’t think of a better treat to throw on the grill. (And don’t worry if you don’t have a grill – a roasted portabello tastes just as good!)
We used some of our freshly made basil pesto and fresh tomatoes from the garden to build these “burgers”. We were pleasantly surprised at how easy they were to whip up, and even more impressed at the delicious meld of flavors (I believe the word “perfection” may have been mumbled between bites).
Give them a try – and let us know if you become a believer in the mushroom “burger”!
- 4 portabello mushroom caps
- 2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Fresh ground pepper
- 4 slices provolone cheese
- 4 ciabatta rolls
- ¼ cup basil pesto (made in advance)
- 1 tomato
- 1 cup fresh arugula leaves
- Preheat a grill to medium high.
- Remove the stems from the portabellos. In a small bowl, mix ¼ cup balsamic vinegar and ¼ cup olive oil. Place the mushrooms on a baking sheet. Using a brush. the front and back of each mushroom with the marinade. Sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper, and let sit for 15 minutes.
- Place the mushrooms on grill (or in a grill pan) and cook about 5 minutes per side, until juicy. In the last minute, place provolone cheese slices on top of each mushroom and grill until melted, then remove from the grill. Brush the cibatta rolls with olive oil and place them on the grill until toasted.
- Slice the tomato, and de-strem the arugula.
- Place each grilled portabello cap on half of a roll. Top with a spoonful of pesto, a tomato slice, a handful of arugula, and the other half of the roll.