Portobello mushroom burgers with provolone cheese and red pepper mayonnaise

It should be illegal for something to taste this good.

Here’s a hint to all you readers (hello, anyone out there? Mom, is that you?): if I post something the day I made it, then you know it was just so incredible that I needed to share it with the world right away.  This was one of those meals – the type that makes you lean back in your chair and emit “oohhh” and “ahhh” sounds with every bite.

This meal was also good enough to make me actually consider vegetarianism as a plausible lifestyle.  I’m serious – the only thing that was holding me back from kicking the cow (forgive me) all together was the fact that I love, adore and live for beef burgers.  Today, July 12, 2011, an alternative was found.  Portobello mushroom caps have a naturally meaty texture and are way more flavourful than the traditional burger.  And god knows I eat enough quinoa that I don’t need the protein…

Anatomy of a portobello mushroom burger

Anyways, these burgers were unreal, and perfectly in sync with my current portobello mushroom phase.  The recipe was inspired by the August issue of Canadian Living (which I managed to rescue from the piles of mail at my old house…I really need to get my address changed).  As an aside, you can always tell which recipes I’ve made in books or magazines, since the page is absolutely destroyed with oil stains and food residue by the time I’m done.  Oh the memories.

Post de-gilling

Now, if you’ve been reading for awhile, you’ll notice that I frequently express my love for preparing certain foods.  In the past, I’ve said I love slicing zucchini, peeling avocados and cutting bouncy eggplants, among many other equally as strange things.

I can now add another neurotic food preparation love to that list: de-gilling a portobello mushroom cap.  It really is a whole lot of fun (this may speak a lot to the type of life I have).  You gently snap off the mushroom stem and use the side of a spoon to hull out the gills (you know, the fun underside of a mushroom that you always want to run your fingers against).

Hey, don’t judge my strange obsessions. You don’t truly love food unless you love every part of it – gills included.  There’s a life lesson for you, kids.

PS: The broil feature on my oven has changed my life.  It’s like a BBQ without the aesthetically-pleasing grill lines.
PPS: The texture of a grilled portobello mushroom is what I imagine the skin of a dinosaur would feel/look like.

And of course, the more delicious a food, the messier it is to eat…

Recipe: Portobello mushroom melts with provolone and red pepper mayonnaise
Adapted from Canadian Living
- 2 large portobello mushroom caps
- 2 slices of red onion (when cut they resemble rings)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Dash of salt and pepper
-  2 slices provolone cheese
- 2 hamburger buns
-  1/2 red pepper, diced
- 4 tbsp mayonnaise
- Handful of mixed greens

Remove stems and gills from mushrooms; gently rinse caps under the tap and dry using paper towel. Brush mushrooms and onion with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Note: Since I don’t have a BBQ, the rest of my instructions are to make these burgers in the oven, using the broil/grill setting.  Please refer to the original Canadian Living recipe for the BBQ instructions (which are extremely easy, but it’s always nice to have guidance!)

Place mushrooms, onion and red pepper on a baking pan lined with parchment paper.  Put in oven that is set to its highest temperature – the broil/grill heat level.  Let “grill” for 7 minutes, or until mushrooms start to darken and water is released.

Meanwhile, make the red pepper mayonnaise.  Remove the semi-roasted red peppers from the baking pan and add to a blender/Magic Bullet, pulsing with mayonnaise until combined.  Scrape into dish.

Once the mushrooms are cooked, remove pan from oven and place a slice of provolone cheese on top of each mushroom cap.  Add halved buns to the baking pan and put back in the oven for another minute, or until cheese starts to melt and buns turn brown and crispy.

Now assemble your burger: Put a generous layer of red pepper mayonnaise on the base of the bun.  Add mixed greens, mushroom cap with cheese, red onion rings and another layer of mayonnaise.  Try your very hardest to be ladylike while eating, but secretly enjoy the messiness.

Makes two servings.

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16 comments
  1. YES! I’m so glad you’re on the portobello bandwagon. Try marinating them in oil, balsamic garlic, and basil/oregano before you roast them next time. It’s magical.

  2. pearl said:

    Those burgers look great and I love Portobello mushrooms too! I didn’t realize you had to de-gill them.
    I just love your blog and your sense of humor!

  3. Dad said:

    Hi darling:

    I’ve been BBQ’ing portabellow mushrooms from time to time and you’re mexactly right- they sort of ooze the “black water” which you mention. They still go great on burgers though although I could see the water really making other stuff cooking nearby kind of icky…..

    Keep cooking but stay cool :)

    Dad

  4. I just love using portabellas instead of a meat-based burger… I find the texture is much the same and the flavours are great (especially with goat cheese!)
    - Brittany

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