Dinner Tonight: Portobello Mushroom 'Burgers'

Well, I'm back at it again with a not-really-a-burger burger. Last time it was salmon and now I'm using the same word for a giant mushroom cap as a glorious, beefy patty. For a true burger lover, this is getting embarrassing. But once again, I must admit I was pleasantly surprised.

The recipe I used, adapted from Everyday Food, roasts the caps covered in a hot oven to concentrate their flavor and keep them tender (a trip to the grill, where a lot of mushroom burgers probably get cooked as consolation for the vegetarians, probably isn't the best route to juiciness). If this were my only knowledge of hamburgers, it would be a tragedy; but it was quite welcome as something a little different.

The other smart move in this recipe is the topping, which is an avocado-based spread. The recipe called for using horseradish and mustard mashed into the avocado, but I skipped them both in favor of minced shallots and lemon juice. Either way, the avocado was wonderful against the (yes, I'll say it) meaty mushroom. A tender bun that's easily bitten through is essential, because the mushroom has a tendency to slip out.

Dinner Tonight: Portobello Mushroom 'Burgers'

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About This Recipe

Yield:4

Ingredients

  • 4 large portobello mushrooms, stems removed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 ripe avocado, pitted, peeled, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium shallot, peeled and minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 4 soft rolls, split horizontally
  • 1 beefsteak tomato, cored and thinly sliced

Procedures

  1. 1

    Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet, toss mushrooms with oil, 1/2 cup water, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Arrange stem-side down and cover loosely with foil to allow some steam to escape. Roast for 30-45 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender.

  2. 2

    When the mushrooms are nearly done, combine the avocado, shallot, lime juice, and a pinch of salt and pepper in a bowl. Mash thoroughly into a paste.

  3. 3

    Toast rolls, and place mushroom on bottom half. Top with avocado mixture and tomato.

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