Portobello Burger Recipe: Vegetarian Meat

Gentle Readers, there is nothing like a lifestyle change to sharply correct eating choices. Such is the road to mushroom love for Team Practical Cook. I have always been a fan. The Juniors, not so much. Then the Eldest became a vegetarian. Now the Youngest is following her sister’s able footsteps.

Portobello Mushroom Burger with Red Onions and Goat Cheese

Portobello Mushroom Burger with Red Onions and Goat Cheese

And they love portobello mushrooms. They like them straight up, they like them sliced, they like them roasted. My favorite thing about them? We can buy them from a local source in the grocery store. I’m teaching TPC’s Junior how to identify fresh ones (unblemished, not wet, gills intact).

Baby Bellas: Cremini mushrooms sliced fine.

Baby Bellas: Cremini mushrooms sliced fine.

I recommend scraping the gills off for most preparations, just because they’ll turn everything black. That’s personal preference though. The consistency is such they’ve both asked me if it’s meat, in disbelief that something they like so much could be on the approved list. We call it vegetarian meat at our house.

Portobello Burger Recipe

3 or 4 large portobello caps, gills scraped
olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 medium-sized red onion, sliced thin
sugar to taste
balsamic vinegar
good quality goat cheese
hamburger buns
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. When it’s hot, place prepped portobellos on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Drizzle some more oil on the mushrooms and rub them. I won’t tell. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Roast, turning the caps over halfway, until tender, about 30 minutes total, depending on the size of the portobellos.

Meanwhile, in a medium size skillet, heat a splash of olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, a sprinkling of sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. Saute onions, lowering heat to keep them from burning, until they’ve caramelized slightly and are very soft. Finish with a splash of balsamic vinegar. Taste them and adjust seasoning accordingly.

To assemble, split one hamburger bun, schmear it with good goat cheese (don’t get me started, the Juniors can school you on goat cheese), add a portobello cap, then top with onions.

Enjoy. There wasn’t a single bite left. Onions are sweet in this preparation, so don’t leave them out, and don’t fear serving them to the young. A spoonful of sugar does make most things go down.

Where do you stand on mushrooms? Are you a hater or a fan? Vote today. The comments section beckons you.

Send your sprouts, witty rejoinders, and spare turkeys to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

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Coming up Friday, Turkeyless Thanksgiving for the Junior Pilgrims.

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