Thursday, May 29, 2014

Easy Portobello Burgers

I, like so many Americans, celebrated Memorial Day weekend with plenty of cooking out. As Monday evening rolled around, after my grill had seen brats, steaks, and corn that got slathered in butter, I was ready to detox my diet. But just because I needed to eat healthier doesn't mean I wanted to eat blander or put the grill away just yet. The perfect solution? Portobello burgers.

Now if you have your heart set on a carnivorous meal, this isn't going to do it for you. My biggest issue with fake meat is products is exactly that - they're so fake. A mushroom is not beef and tofu is never going to be chicken, so why can't we just celebrate these delicious plant products for what they are? And this portobello "burger" is damn tasty. It might not be the same as biting into a big patty of beef, but these portobellos are still a perfect base on which to pile all your favorite burger toppings. A quick marinade of soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and garlic deeply infuses the mushrooms with flavor, while also keeping them from becoming a desiccated puck on the grill. Because the "burger" itself is so virtuous, there's absolutely no shame in topping them with a generous smear of the mayo-mustard mixture, plus a slice of cheese if you like as well. And if you still must have some meat, this mushroom is pretty delicious piled right on top of a beef patty.

Easy Portobello Burgers
adapted from Cooking Light
serves 4

1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 (4-inch) portobello mushroom caps
Cooking spray
1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise
1 to 2 tablespoons coarse grain or Dijon mustard
4 whole grain sandwich buns
Tomato, lettuce, and thinly sliced onion, for serving

1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag; add mushrooms to bag. Seal and marinate at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours, turning bag occasionally. Remove mushrooms from bag; discard marinade.

2. Prepare grill to medium heat. In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise and mustard and season to taste with salt and pepper.

3. Place mushrooms, gill sides down, on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 4 minutes on each side. Place buns, cut sides down, on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 30 seconds on each side or until toasted. Divide mayonnaise mixture evenly between top halves of buns. Place 1 mushroom on bottom half of each bun. Top each mushroom with toppings of choice; cover with top halves of buns.

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