Meatless Monday: Monster Mushroom Burger

Portobello mushrooms: the vegetable that became a burger because it's naturally shaped like a burger bun.
By: Michelle Buffardi
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The portobello mushroom burger -- the ubiquitous vegetarian summer picnic meal -- isn't really a burger at all. Which is to say it isn't chopped meat formed into a patty, but rather a food found in nature with a natural hamburger bun size and shape. It's perfect, really. Thank you, nature, for a food that's shaped like a sandwich and requires virtually no work to prepare.

Bobby Deen's Monster Mushroom Burger is one such "burger" that will let you picnic with your pals without having to participate in the pressing together of raw meat into patties. Giant, bun-sized portobello mushrooms are marinated in oil and vinegar, grilled and layered on a bun with a creamy herbed yogurt sauce, arugula, tomato, onion and roasted red peppers. If you're inclined, add a slice of provolone or a smear of goat cheese and make it a cheese "burger."

Monster Mushroom Burger

Serves 4
4 large portobello mushrooms caps, wiped cleaned
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek-style yogurt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 lime, zested and juiced
4 large slices whole-grain peasant bread, each cut in half
1 cup baby arugula
1 large tomato, cut into 8 slices
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup roasted red pepper strips, drained

Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.

Place the mushrooms in a baking dish or pie plate. Whisk together the vinegar, oil, salt and pepper until blended. Brush the mushrooms with the vinegar mixture; let stand for up to 15 minutes.

Place the mushrooms on the grill rack and grill until tender, 4 to 6 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.

Meanwhile, combine the yogurt, rosemary and zest and juice of the lime in a small bowl until blended. Brush the bread slices with the yogurt mixture. Layer half the slices with the mushrooms, arugula, tomatoes, onions and red pepper strips. Top with the remaining bread slices. Serve immediately.

More Meaty-Yet-Meatless Portobello Mushroom Recipes:

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