Whenever the word “veggie” modifies “burger,” many people taste skepticism more than anything else.
While it’s true that many veggie burgers are nothing more than mushy patties of ground-up produce, this portobello burger is a burger of a different class.
Marinated and grilled just right, a large portobello mushroom cap can be just as toothsome and “meaty” as the real deal. And when you add accoutrements, like char-grilled red onion and red bell pepper, plus a slathering of savory sun-dried tomato mayonnaise, you just might turn a meat eater into a vegetarian. At least until the next meal.
For the mayonnaise:
1/2 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
2 tablespoons prepared sun-dried tomato pesto
1 teaspoon lemon juice
For the burger:
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Four 5-inch round portobello mushroom caps
Four 1/2-inch-thick slices red onion, cut from a large red onion
1 yellow or orange bell pepper, quartered lengthwise and seeded
4 kaiser rolls, split
1 cup baby arugula
In a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, sun-dried tomato pesto and lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate until serving time.
In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil, garlic, mustard, salt and pepper. Add the mushrooms, onions and peppers, turning to coat with the marinade.
Heat a gas grill to medium-high or light a charcoal fire.
Remove the vegetables from the marinade, letting any excess drip off. Reserve the marinade. Grill the vegetables until browned on both sides and tender, about 5 minutes per side, brushing once with additional marinade during cooking.
Meanwhile, toast the rolls at the edge of the grill or in a toaster.
To assemble the burgers, divide the arugula among the 4 roll bottoms. Top with onions and peppers. Set the mushroom caps on top. Spread a quarter of the mayonnaise on each roll top and set on top of the mushrooms.
Yield: 4 servings
Approximate nutrition per serving: 430 calories, 23 grams fat ( 4 grams saturated), 9 grams protein, 47 grams carbohydrate, 1 milligram cholesterol, 4 grams dietary fiber, 895 milligrams sodium.