portobello burger recipe

Cheesy Portobello “Burgers”

Portobello Mushroom "Burger"

Portobello Mushroom “Burger”

I had a chance to have a friend over for lunch. She is vegetarian. Neither of us had a lot of time so I wanted something fast and easy. I had a couple of portobello mushroom caps in the fridge so I used them as my starting point. I also had some whole wheat buns so a sandwich felt like the right choice. I don’t like to use the word burger. Burgers for me will always be meat, but it did end up pretty close. The flavors, appearance and feeling was pretty burger-like, if not a true burger.

I started by  cooking some sliced onion in oil adding salt, pepper and some hot sauce. While the onions were cooking I rinsed the mushroom caps and gave them a drizzle of lemon-infused olive oil and white wine vinegar. Also gave them a dash of salt and some Italian seasoning. I would say I marinaded them, but seriously, it was for 10 minutes while the onions were cooking. Once the onions were getting almost caramelized I added the mushrooms to the pan with the liquids I had been soaking them in. I let them cook, turning a few times, until they were cooked and browning a little. By then most of the liquid in the pan was gone.

The biggest challenge with cooking any mushroom is water. They are full of it. To get a truly strong mushroom flavor you need to get that water out and intensify the mushroom’s flavor. Don’t be afraid to let them cook long enough for that to happen.

I finished the mushrooms off with a couple of slices of sharp white cheddar cheese. I also toasted the buns. To serve it I placed the cheesy mushrooms on the buns and topped each with some of the onions. It was a lunch I would make again, even for my non-vegetarian friends.