Portobello Burgers

by Karin Calloway

A fungi has taken the food world by storm. The giant portobello mushrooms that have been the rage on restaurant menus are now available at nearly every supermarket. Marinated, then grilled or broiled, portobellos add a wonderful, meaty texture to salads, or stand on their own as in this week’s recipe for portobello burgers.

Portobellos are literally as large as most quarter pound hamburgers. Their burger-like size and meaty flavor are the perfect, healthy stand-in for the traditional ground beef. A simple marinade in prepared salad dressing, a quick turn on the grill or under the broiler, and you’ve got a healthy entree in no time.

I like to serve portobello burgers on grilled sourdough or French bread. I cut thick slices from a fresh loaf, brush both sides of the bread with olive oil or butter, or give them a quick coating of olive oil cooking spray, then grill them alongside the mushrooms.

Rouille, a red pepper and garlic mayonnaise that most often accompanies bouillabaisse, is the perfect accompaniment for the mushroom burgers. Made simply by combining canned roasted red peppers, minced garlic and prepared mayonnaise in a food processor or blender, it gives the burgers a Mediterranean accent.

Garnished your portobello burgers with provolone cheese, sliced fresh tomato and crisp romaine lettuce. Serve with sides of fresh fruit and deli pasta salad for a healthy, quick meal.

  • 1/2 cup prepared mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup canned roasted red peppers, drained well and patted dry with paper towels
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 portobello mushrooms, stems removed, wiped clean with a damp cloth or paper towel
  • 1/4 cup prepared Italian salad dressing
  • 8 1-inch thick slices sourdough or French bread
  • butter, olive oil or olive oil cooking spray
  • 4 slices provolone cheese
  • 4 slices ripe, fresh tomato
  • 4 romaine lettuce leaves, washed and dried
Turn grill on high and preheat for 5 minutes. While grill is heating, prepare red pepper mayonnaise by pureeing mayonnaise, red peppers and garlic in a food processor or blender. Season with salt and pepper to taste and refrigerate, covered until ready to serve. 

Place cleaned mushrooms on a plate and brush both sides with salad dressing. Reduce grill heat to medium-high. Grill mushrooms for about 4 to 5 minutes per side. Brush both sides of bread slices with butter or olive oil, or spray lightly with olive oil cooking spray, and grill until golden, about 1 minute per side. 

Place a grilled mushroom on top of a slice of grilled bread, top with some red pepper mayonnaise, a slice of provolone cheese, a tomato and a piece of lettuce. Top with another piece of bread and repeat procedure to make remaining sandwiches.

Makes 8 burgers or 32 appetizers

*Note: Burgers can be broiled in oven, about 4-inches from broiler, for 4 to 5 minutes per side. Toast bread in oven or toaster oven until golden brown on both sides.

Portobello Burgers

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Portobello Burgers make a wonderful light lunch or supper served with a Caesar salad. Or, cut each burger into quarters and skewer with a toothpick for a great appetizer.