I have a two-burner grill that I barely used all summer because it was just too hot to grill in 100+ degree weather... So, in celebration of the weather, however, all I did this week was grill; it's by far one of the easiest ways to cook, especially if you are cooking in small quantity. This recipe is intended for the grill, but you can use your broiler as well. You can easily pick up any number of mushroom caps in the produce section of your grocery store, as they are typically sold individually as well as in a pack. They are much easier to deal with than, for instance, getting a pound of ground beef for burgers, because they stay fresher longer, and, if you make extra, they have a variety of uses (see the note below). Hope you enjoy!
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Salt & pepper to taste
1 to 2 large Portobello mushrooms
1 to 2 pieces of cheese (I used Colby Jack, but you can use American or whatever you like)
BBQ Sauce (I like Sweet Baby Ray's)
Bun or bread for serving (Tip: freeze packs of buns, and defrost as you need them)
Toppings: I put caramelized onions, spinach, and bacon on mine, but use whatever you like on a regular burger. The more toppings, the better!
- Clean mushroom(s), and remove the stems.
- In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, olive oil, and salt and pepper.
- Using a pastry brush, brush the oil and vinegar mixture over the entire mushroom.
- Using a gas grill: Heat grill to medium heat. Grill mushroom, gills side up, for about 5 minutes. Use tongs to flip, and grill with the gills down for another 5 minutes or so. When the mushroom is tender when pierced with a paring knife (the mushroom will look cooked through), top with one or two pieces of cheese, and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes until the cheese has melted.
- To cook onions on the grill: If you would like to serve caramelized onions on your burger, slice a quarter to a half of a sweet onion, and place in a foil pack with about a tablespoon of butter. Put these on the grill while you are preparing the mushrooms, and remove them when you are done cooking. These are great, and can be saved for use in other things, such as on sandwiches and in quesadillas.
- Using an oven: Place mushrooms on a cookie sheet with edges. Broil on high for about 5 minutes with the gills side up, then flip and broil with the gills down for another 5 minutes or so. When the mushroom is tender when pierced with a paring knife, top with one or two pieces of cheese and broil for another 1 to 2 minutes until the cheese has melted.
- Assemble the burger. Place the mushroom burger on the bun, and top with BBQ sauce, spinach or lettuce, tomato, and any other favorite traditional burger toppings.
Notes: To make your life even simpler, cook one or two extra mushrooms, as they are excellent meat substitutes. They can then be used in grilled Portobello mushroom quesadillas, quiche, omelets, you name it. I also put bacon on my burger: because bacon is such a hassle and mess to make, I made it for the recipe, and then stored it in tupperware in the fridge and used in other dishes (ate it for breakfast by itself).
P.S. Try this Apple Crumble Pie and these Maple-Glazed Pumpkin Spice Cakes for some single-serving fall-themed recipes.