Dear Portobello Mushrooms,
I was not a believer. I couldn’t imagine that a grilled mushroom on a bun could take the place of a juicy hamburger with all the smokey flavor the grill imparts. The way my dad used to make them with Old Hickory Smoke Salt and Liquid Smoke seemed unsurpassable. I am so sorry, portobellos. How can I tell you I regret not believing in your meaty deliciousness?
Portobello burgers are simple to make using a variety of methods. All you have to do is remove the stem, scrape out the gills with a spoon (if desired – nothing bad will happen if you choose to leave them in), dip them in an olive oil and soy sauce (in my case, Tamari) mixture until both sides are saturated, and cook them. My favorite method is two minutes on high on the panini press. They also come out excellent on the grill or in the oven, but it takes the mushrooms a bit longer in the oven and on the grill.
While the mushroom tastes much like meat, our secret for creating a hearty burger is slathering both sides of the bun with organic, non-GMO hummus. After that, I added ketchup and mustard, too.
Green leaf lettuce, lightly grilled onions, tomato slices, cheese and grilled pineapple wedges completed our tasty burgers, but you can play around with any combination of ingredients that you might find on a regular burger, and even some you just dream up. That is, if you find yourself dreaming about portobello burgers.
We served our burgers with a side of sauteed asparagus and baked parsnip fries. Both make healthy alernatives that pop in your mouth just as easily as french fries. Asparagus loses less moisture when flash-cooked in a skillet with a teaspoon of olive oil. For the parsnip fries, I arrange them on a baking pan, drizzle olive or coconut oil over them, season them with Tony Chachere’s Cajun Seasoning and bake on 375º until tender, about 15 minutes in my oven.
(Makes 2 burgers)
2 intact portobello mushrooms
2 buns (whatever your preference, from whole wheat to gluten free)
organic hummus for spreading (We used Cedar Original Hummus)
red onion slices, lightly grilled
pineapple rings, lightly grilled
vine-ripe tomatoes, sliced
sliced cheese of choice
green leaf lettuce
Tamari or soy sauce
1. Carefully remove the stems from the portobello mushrooms and discard.
2. Using a spoon, scrape the gills from the underside of the mushroom and discard. Be careful not to break the cap of the mushroom.
3. Marinate the mushroom in olive oil and soy sauce or Tamari in a large shallow bowl until covered on both sides. It can be for 5 -15 minutes according to your preference, or just quickly dipped until covered.
4. Cook on a hot panini press, grill or a 375 degree oven until done. On the panini press, it takes about two minutes for the mushrooms to cook. On the grill, it takes 3-5 on each side, and no more than 4 minutes per side in the oven.
5. Spread hummus on both sides of the bun.
6. Assemble the mushroom and vegetables on the bun as you would any hamburger.
7. Enjoy with healthy asparagus and parsnip fries!