Portobello makes great veggie burger

WEDNESDAY, AUG. 11, 2010

Beefy mushroom can satisfy the pickiest meat eater

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.

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