Crumbs: Grilled Portobello Mushroom Burger

Portobello mushrooms take on an earthy, meaty flavor when you grill them. And now that grilling season is coming toward an end, I’ve been hunting for alternatives to beef, anyway! Today, I’ll share my grilled Portobello mushroom burger recipe – but, first, a few tips I learned in the process.

When you’re picking out Portobello mushrooms, make sure to select ones that are about the same diameter as a hamburger. So, about three inches or so across. I’ve noticed some recipes call for you to slice the mushrooms lengthwise or into strips before grilling. I like to remove the stems and then use the rest of the mushroom whole.

Season the mushroom just as you would a hamburger – with the exception that you’ll need to brush a little olive oil on it first, so that the seasoning will stick.

After you grill the mushroom, I dress it up with all the fixin’s. Since mushrooms have a strong flavor, it’s fun to add equally robust buddies. Instead of lettuce, for instance, I opt for baby spinach leaves. I also stack some tomato slices and bacon on top. And instead of regular buns, I try to find onion rolls, whole wheat buns or even sliced focaccia.

Instead of ketchup and mustard, I use mayonnaise – again to play up the mushroom flavor. In the past, I’ve mixed in a little Italian dressing or vinaigrette into the mayonnaise. Cut-up sun-dried tomatoes are also a yummy addition.

My advice? Look through your refrigerator for favorite sauces or dressings, and then sift through your spices for ingredients to mix in. Want to add an Italian flavor? Sprinkle in a little basil or oregano. Barbecue? BBQ sauce and a dash of liquid smoke. Start with about 1/3 mayonnaise in a cup and then add seasonings.

Have fun! Remember, if you find the flavors aren’t working you can always start over again, especially since it’s such a small amount.

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