You may have noticed that I absolutely love veggie burgers of any kind. Many times, if I’m trying a new restaurant and see a veggie burger on the menu, I’ll order it as a test. I think veggie burgers are one of the true indicators of a good restaurant. A good veggie burger shows that the chef really understands and appreciates the vegetables and grains they use and know how to bring together all their best qualities—not in a way that mimics meat, but showcases what incredible flavor you can achieve without meat.
Even though I love veggie burgers, they tend to require a lot of ingredients that you have to prep and subsequently mash together. But what if the patty was just one ingredient? So easy, right?! Over the long weekend, I spent some lazy hours watching Bobby Deen’s show on Cooking Channel, Not My Mama’s Meals. Having spent five years in Savannah, Georgia, where Paula Deen is an omnipresent force (love her or hate her), I find Bobby’s recipes super refreshing. He makes lighter versions of some of Paula’s famous—and notoriously butter-laden—dishes. A super simple portobello mushroom burger was featured in one episode, and I was immediately sold. No chopping, mashing, or food processor required.
The star of this show is the portobello mushroom cap. Brushed with a simple balsamic marinade and grilled, this is just about the easiest vegetarian burger you’ll find. The toppings are what really makes it shine: roasted red peppers, peppery arugula, juicy tomato, red onion, and a tangy yogurt spread made with rosemary, garlic, and lime. Incredibly easy to make, with impressive flavor and looks. Served with sweet potato chips (baked using this method, with thinly sliced medallions instead of fries), this is a gorgeous vegetarian meal.
Portobello Mushroom Burgers with Rosemary, Garlic & Lime Spread
Adapted from Bobby Deen
- 4 large portobello mushroom caps, wiped clean
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- ⅓ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
- 3 teaspoons dried rosemary
- 1 clove garlic, grated
- 1 teaspoon agave syrup or honey
- 1 small lime, zested and juiced (about 1½ teaspoons zest, 2 tablespoons juice)
- Additional salt (to taste)
- 4 kaiser rolls, sliced in half, or whole grain sandwich buns
- 1 cup baby arugula
- 1 large tomato, cut into 8 slices
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- ½ cup roasted red pepper strips, drained
- Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
- Place the mushrooms in a baking dish or pie plate. Whisk together the vinegar, oil, salt and pepper until blended. Brush the mushrooms with the vinegar mixture; let stand for up to 15 minutes.
- Place the mushrooms on the grill rack and grill until tender, 4 to 6 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
- Meanwhile, combine the yogurt, rosemary, garlic, agave, and zest and juice of the lime in a small bowl until blended. Season the yogurt mixture with additional salt to taste if desired.
- Brush the rolls with the yogurt mixture. Layer half the rolls with the mushrooms, arugula,tomatoes, onions and red pepper strips. Top with the remaining roll halves. Serve immediately.