Friday, July 15, 2011

roasted portobello burgers.

even though it was only four years ago that i took the plunge from being a carnivore to a vegetarian, i very distinctly remember not liking red meat at a young age. it wasn't that i was morally opposed to it (could be giving this 10-year-old a tad too much credit!) or dreaded it like the plague. my heart would just sink a little when my mom mentioned burgers or steak for dinner. furthermore, as a young and budding culinary connoisseur, my exquisite taste drew me to other, more decadent, healthy and nutritious dishes, like mac'n'cheese or panda express. 

if only i'd known about portobello mushrooms back then.

or maybe i did know about them, but they also weren't cutting it (i mean, it's hard to compete with noodles in the shape of cartoon characters and cheese that comes from a powder). i'm glad i've finally come to my senses.

this recipe could not be simpler or more flavorful. a simple herbed marinade, a few plump mushrooms and buns, and some fresh, raw vegetables to go on top. we roasted our mushrooms in the oven, but a grill would give them a really nice smokiness and expedite the cooking time. the minimalist burger you see here is topped with some cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions. but some melted provolone, a dollop of mustard, or a scoop of hummus or guacamole would be very welcome additions.

roasted portobello burgers

3 portobello mushrooms
3 buns of your choice (featured above is a spelt ciabatta roll)
1 tomato, sliced
1/4 cucumber, sliced
1/2 onion, sliced

for the marinade:
2 tbsp olive oil
1 fresh rosemary sprig, finely chopped
1/2 tbsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 juice of a lemon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

start by cleaning the mushrooms with a slightly damp kitchen towel. remove the stems and pat dry.

prepare the marinade by chopping the rosemary and thyme and mincing the garlic. place in a small bowl and add the olive oil, lemon, and salt and pepper. mix well.

assemble the mushrooms in a baking dish and brush with half of the marinade on both sides. place in an oven of 180 C and let roast. after about 10 minutes, remove them and re-apply the marinade. flip them over and place back in the oven for another 10 minutes.

remove from oven and test if they are ready by cutting off a slice. they should be juicy and the knife should cut through them without a problem. throw buns in the oven for a minute to warm or grill them.

assemble your burger as desired. eat alongside a salad, some more grilled vegetables, or my favorite: sweet potato fries.