Portobello mushrooms or portabella mushrooms as they are more rightfully called, which range between four and six inches in width, are large enough to be a delicious filling in hamburger buns. Barbequed Portobello mushrooms are juicy and mouthwatering and the garlic and thyme used in these Portobello burgers really bring out the rich mushroom flavor. Once you have removed the dark gills of the Portobello mushrooms with a spoon, you are ready to generously brush the mushroom caps with the oil mixture. You can serve these grilled Portobello mushrooms as they are, in the bun, or you can add a little mayonnaise or salsa for some extra flavor.
Alternatively, a slice of grilled tomato is wonderful with these too. This is a very simple recipe and you only need a few ingredients. The mushrooms are given a wonderful earthiness with the chosen seasonings and you can be sure they are going to come out really juicy and tasty. Choose this recipe if you are serving vegetarians and you want to ensure their food is just as good as what the meat-eaters will be tucking into. It is also nice as a side dish without the buns and would go beautifully with anything from chicken or beef to fish and seafood.
With the buns though they are just like meat-free burgers and even a diehard carnivore could be persuaded to enjoy one of these every now and then, to make a change from the beef. If you have never seen Portobello mushrooms before you will be surprised how big they are, especially the 6 inch ones. You might wonder about the price too but ounce for ounce these are not too different in price from the smaller kind. Remember one of these in a bun is a complete meal so a dollar a mushroom does not actually work out so bad when you look at it that way.
There are various ways to cook and serve Portobello mushrooms although chopping or slicing them up does rather defeat their purpose. If you are using chopped mushrooms in a recipe then use the smaller kind because they are more economical. For the big impressive ones though, it has to be Portobello. Try varying the herbs and spices. Mushrooms are versatile and are just as good with spicy seasonings as mild ones so you might wish to swap the thyme for chili flakes or add minced onion to the garlic. Play around with the ingredients you have and see what you can come up with.
If you enjoy cheeseburgers then add a slice of cheese to each Portobello mushroom shortly before the end of the barbequing time so it melts a little, and you will get that tasty cheese flavor as well as the texture of cheese which always works well in sandwiches no matter whether you are serving burgers, tortilla wraps or Paninis. Portobello mushrooms keep for several days in the refrigerator. Treat them like any other kind of mushrooms, which means removing any cellophane from the package and keeping them in a paper bag or in a dish lined with paper towels to soak up any moisture.
- 4 portobello mushrooms
- 1 minced clove garlic
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Salt and black pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 4 whole wheat burger buns
- Preheat the grill to a moderate heat.
- Combine the garlic and thyme with the olive oil.
- Remove the stems from the portobello mushrooms and brush the olive oil mixture over the mushroom caps.
- Grill them for about 5 minutes per side, turning them a few times, until they are grill marked and soft.
- Grill the burger buns for a couple of minutes on each side until they are lightly toasted.
As you can see, this bears more than a passing resemblance to a traditional beef hamburger, but what you are seeing is a bona fide Portobello burger. This healthy beef alternative is tasty and filling and sure to wow both carnivores and vegetarians. Mushrooms have a rich, earthy quality, which makes them ‘meaty’ without actually being meat. So if you are looking for brand new barbequing ideas this year, why not grab some juicy Portobello mushrooms instead of your usual burgers and make this nutritious treat? Finish them off with any sauce or condiments you like.
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