I mentioned last week that Jeff, Mark’s friend who is vegan, came to stay with us for a few days. In anticipation of his arrival, I couldn’t resist buying some portabella mushroom caps. I love portabella mushrooms but I hadn’t eaten one in a long time. Jeff’s visit seemed like a perfect time to revisit my admiration of the portabella as a burger. If you have never had a portabella mushroom, they’re, well, meaty. They’re thick and somewhat dense and, when grilled, are a satisfying alternative to a hamburger.
Portabella Mushroom Burgers
- 4 portabella mushroom caps
- 4 hamburger buns (or rolls — I used Kaiser rolls)
- 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
- salt and pepper, to taste
- burger toppings of your choice — I used red onion, cherry tomatoes, and lettuce
Remove any remaining mushroom stems from the caps (they pull off very easily). With a clean, damp cloth, gently wipe the mushroom caps to remove lingering soil. Don’t run them under water; I’m told it makes mushrooms tough (although I’ve never tested this). Rub the extra virgin olive oil all over the top, bottom, and sides of the mushroom caps. I used about a tablespoon of oil for each cap. Sprinkle the bottom and top of the caps with salt and pepper. Heat another tablespoon of the olive oil in a pan over medium heat and add the mushroom caps. I used a cast iron skillet which worked really well. (You could, of course, also grill the mushrooms which would be yummy.) Cover the pan. I find that covering the mushrooms while they cook keeps them nice and moist. Let cook for about 5 minutes and flip. When you flip the mushrooms, squash them down with the back of a spatula so that they cook evenly. Cook on the second side for another 5 minutes or so until the mushrooms are tender. Definitely check on the mushrooms to make sure you don’t burn them. If you’re adding cheese to your mushroom burger, add it during the final minute or so of cooking and cover the pan so it melts evenly. Remove the mushrooms, place on the hamburger buns or rolls, and top with desired toppings. I put tomatoes, lettuce, and red onion on mine and even added some feta cheese (I know, they’re not vegan if you add cheese). I added a little more olive oil to the bun, but depending on your preferences, you could certainly add ketchup, mustard, or even mayonnaise.
4 portabella mushroom caps: $4.94
4 Kaiser rolls: $1.32 (hamburger buns would almost certainly be less expensive)
lettuce, tomato, onion: $1.00 (obviously this is a guess, and probably a not particularly accurate one)
olive oil, salt, and pepper: $.50 (again, a guess)
Grand total: $7.76
Cost per serving: $1.94
If you invite your friends over for a barbeque this summer and paired these burgers with kale chips, you’d be such an impressively healthy host!