I love mushrooms. This is one of the few ways the wife will eat mushrooms at all, so I embrace it. We’ve been trying to cut the fat and cholesterol in our diets. That doesn’t mean we’re avoiding meat. It just means we’re swapping out a standard ingredient every now and then for a healthier alternative. We’ve been grilling portobello mushroom burgers for a while now, and it’s one of the best grilled sandwiches you can make.
Grilled Portobello Burgers
- 2 large portobello caps, marinaded
- 2 slices smoked gouda cheese
- hamburger buns, condiments, toppings
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 big pinch each: salt, pepper, dried sage
Wipe any dirt off the portobellos with a paper towel and set them on a plate. Mix the marinade ingredients in a bowl and pour over the mushrooms, flipping them around until they sop up most of the liquid. The marinade helps the mushrooms retain their moisture and it adds a little flavor. The marinating time doesn’t really matter. I let it set on the plate for about 20 minutes while I prep the rest of the meal and heat up the grill.
Some people scrape out the gills on the underside of the mushrooms, but I don’t. They pack a tremendous amount of flavor and will shrivel into the cap as they roast. Just shake off the excess marinade and grill them over direct heat for about 7 minutes per side. Make sure you oil your grate, or they’ll stick.
Place the smoked gouda on the mushroom caps during the last couple of minutes to melt the cheese. Then construct the burgers however you like. I like toasted buns with these burgers.
The smoky cheese really complements the savory taste of the mushrooms. A roasted garlic aioli would be a nice touch as well, but it’s hard to make a small batch for a meal like this. The wife and I just stick with a little mayonnaise and dijon mustard and the portobello burgers come out great every time.
I know there’s kind of a hippie vibe to this meal, but it tastes really good. Don’t think of it as an ersatz hamburger. It stands on its own as a grilled mushroom sandwich. You could do another version with grilled eggplant, fresh mozzarella, and roasted red pepper, and it would be just as good.