Portobello Burger

Here is a very veggie dish. I put it together via the recipe, & modified. I also included a modified basil pesto for those who like that. With a suggestion, I modified the basil pesto using half fresh & half packaged, because sometimes that’s what you have on hand. The recipe builds are below. I also modified it to one or two servings, because Portobellos mushrooms can get pricey, & sometimes cooked mushrooms don’t keep all too well.
Portobello mushrooms have a taste to them, that are different than other mushrooms, certainly different than the “regular” button mushrooms. I used to make an awesome Portobello mushroom app (itizer), that was soaked & marinated in Chianti.

Set that bad boy a flame & grill it! I’m adding this, as it will go very well here, replacing the first 14 minute bake time, of course. BUT not part of the recipe (is now, isn’t it)?


When you bake these, bottom up, you will see some water, just tip that out before adding the pesto. I broiled the bottoms on the lowest placement, for the 10 minutes, then added the pesto. It was to remove the water more than being concerned about the mushrooms not being cooked enough. If you “want to fancy it up a bit” I would suggest using your torch (or BBQ-grill) on the bottom of the mushroom cap, before adding the pesto. Not a whole bunch, & certainly using as broad a tip (or distance) as you can.

first partP

With the basil pesto, I found it a bit powerful alone (fresh), & too loose when mixed (only with half water), with the package. I also found it didn’t offer enough of the mushroom taste for me. My test subjects loved them though. Added to a plate of pasta would be great. Topped with the mushroom.


Also, while on mushrooms. If you don’t like Portobello mushrooms, you can use a super large button mushroom. I chose some very small porto’s for this recipe, but couldn’t find any good large button caps in time.

Instead of goat’s cheese I used mozz. I don’t make any vegan/paleo claims either way, on anything; I’m just offering the recipe & what I found tasted great. On the basil recipe, I also want to show how previously frozen cheese acts after thawing. It doesn’t slice & hold up very well. I know that it doesn’t, but want to show that. I just used it as a crumble.

When you have tomatoes for sandwiches, use the large “beefsteak” kind. I have heard them referred as “slicing tomatoes” from a prep cook of mine. I took some snaps of it for everyone. You can cut these as thick or as thinly as you like. You can use other types of tomatoes, it depends on how you want to stack them. Roma tomatoes are good for this sandwich as well.


Serves 4

Portobello Burgers:

4 Portobello mushrooms
¼ C. sun-dried-tomato pesto*
4 whole-grain hamburger buns
1 large ripe tomato
1 log fresh goat cheese (I subbed mozzarella)
8 large fresh basil leaves (optional if you don’t like basil- of course)

Carrot-Fennel Slaw (NOT in the pix. I didn’t use this):

2 C. shredded carrots
1 small fennel bulb
½ C. fresh basil leaves
2 tsp. olive oil
1½ tsp. apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper

Prepare Portobello Burgers: Preheat toaster oven to 425 °F. Place Portobellos on foil-lined toaster oven tray, rounded side up. Bake 14 minutes. Flip mushrooms; spread 1 tablespoon pesto evenly on each. Bake 10 minutes or until mushrooms are just tender. I found this to work better. Add a little oil to the pan, turn the (mushrooms) caps over onto the oil. Cook for 10 minutes, tip water out. Add pesto, & cheese. Broil for three minutes to put a golden color on the cheese.

Cap prepP

Meanwhile, prepare Carrot-Fennel Slaw: In large bowl, mix carrots, fennel, basil, oil, vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper until well combined.
Toast buns. Place 2 tomato slices on bottom of each bun. Top each with 1 Portobello, 2 slices goat cheese, 2 basil leaves, and top of bun. Serve burgers with Carrot-Fennel Slaw.

cap broilP

You can dry toast your buns by 1) placing them inside up in the toaster oven, or 2) using a VERY hot frying pan, inside down, 3) if your bread toaster has bagel options (and actually works). If you don’t mind butter, it will toast easier on the grill or in the frying pan. Also, a restaurant cheat is to use mayo instead of butter on a hot grill. You can sub your frying pan if you’d like.

Put the (mushroom) cap on the bun (bottoms up), add a slice of tomato to the top, & basil on top of that. I added salt & pepper to my sandwich, as I like salt & pepper on my tomatoes & mushrooms. You certainly can thinly slice an onion to go with this.


*One or two servings sun dried tomato paste

1/4 C sun-dried tomatoes, drained (packed in oil)
2 Tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1.5 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1.5 tsp packed fresh parsley leaves
1/4 garlic cloves crushed
pepper to taste

Process all the ingredients in a food processor “fitted with the metal blade” until the mixture forms a coarse paste. If your processor uses other blades, I guess. I used the “sharp” flip of my Cuisinart, not the “dull” banger portion.

Basil pesto cheat:

1 package fresh basil
1 TBSP olive oil
1 package (I know) basil pesto

Use 1/4 the amount of water for cooking the package basil. Set aside to cool. Put fresh basil in processor (not blender). Drizzle in olive oil while it spins. Seeing that 93% of these things don’t work that way, add the olive oil & hit spin. You can also chiffonade the basil first ;}).

basil enderP

I didn’t list pine nuts nor Parmesan cheese to the above pesto, because there will be a little in the packaged stuff.
If your pesto is too runny, add some (cellulose) packaged Parmesan (shaker) cheese to thicken it. Additional pine nuts will give it a heartier taste, & of course actually shredding real Parmesan will taste WAY better. Not everyone has a block of parm hanging around, I understand.  Wheat Germ will also thicken it up very nicely ;}).

If you’re cutting the carbs, don’t want the bread & so on, this is great just as it is (cheese optional of course).



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