Until two nights ago, I’d never made a portobello burger. Hard to believe, I know. It’s, like, the simplest thing to make. Like, ever. And yet I somehow managed to make chocolate pretzels, potato foccacia, even Buche De Noel before getting around to this dead-simple dinner. Well, we’ve remedied that, folks, yes we have — and it certainly won’t be the last time I do it. Some facts about portobello burgers: they’re freakin’ easy. And tasty. Did I mention easy? Oh, and they’re uber-versatile. Like last night, for example, D ate hers as she would a normal burger: pickles, honey mustard, tomato, bbq sauce. I had mine like a true snob: taleggio cheese, avocado, heirloom tomato, pesto, on ciabatta bread. Delicious either way, we’ll both assure you. And really, took approximately 8 minutes to cook. I don’t have a grill or grill pan, but I used a very hot castiron pan and it did the trick.
Bun or roll (I used ciabatta)
portobello mushroom, rinsed and stem removed
2 slices cheese: I used taleggio, but bleu, chedder, fontina, smoked mozzarella, or pepper jack would be lovely, among others
toppings of all sorts. some suggestions:
- cabbage, orange segments, teriyaki sauce
- lettuce, tomato, mustard, pickles
- lettuce, avocado, tomato, pesto
- roasted red pepper, kalamata olives, feta, parsley
- I could go on and on, you get the drift, yes?
Marinate the portobello for about 10-15 minutes in some sort of liquid (bbq sauce, teriyaki, pesto and olive oil and vinegar, etc).
Heat a heavy-bottomed stainless steel or castiron pan over medium-high heat. When the pan is hothot, drizzle a bit of olive oil in the pan, and immediately plunk down the mushroom, rounded side down. It’ll sizzle away; that’s a good sign. Meanwhile, toast your bread and gather your other ingredients for easy assembly.
Your burger should form a nice “crust” on the top of the cap after about 4 minutes in the pan; at that point, flip it over and cook another few minutes. Pile your burger with toppings, slice in half, and enjoy!
- local heirloom tomatoes: 3.99 per pound (definitely more expensive than hothouse tomatoes but soo much tastier)
- portobellos, from the market, 3 bucks for 2; at the store, 6 oz (approx. 4) for 5 bucks
- avocados, organic, not local (from CA): 2.39 a piece
- pesto — homemade from a gallon-size bag of basil, which cost 7 bucks