We’re not vegetarians, but we love vegetables so much that we wind up eating a lot of meatless meals. This is true year round, but it’s especially true in the summer when it seems impossible not to take advantage of the especially incredible produce that’s just everywhere.
Grilling often brings to mind meat, but if you’ve ever had grilled vegetables, you know just how amazing they are. Grilled zucchini, tomatoes, asparagus, peppers, fennel, eggplant, potatoes, you name it. If it’s tasty cooked and won’t fall apart easily, you can bet it’s going to be really, really delicious grilled. For those of us currently without a working grill (or any grill at all)? Use your oven and crank it up to broil.
One of our favorite vegetables to grill or broil is absolutely mushrooms. They hold up perfectly, take on that great charred flavor and color beautifully, and are hearty enough to really make a meal. They actually taste meaty, especially when cooked this way. They’re also incredibly versatile: Slice them up and serve them as a side dish, put them over a salad, add to pasta, or, as we did for this recipe, make a really satisfying, summery sandwich.
Not only is this recipe vegetarian, but it’s also, just by chance, nearly vegan. Our friend Olivia asked if we knew any good recipes that also happened to be vegan. Liv: this is a really a good one. To make it actually vegan, just sub in vegenaise for the mayo.
* * * *
Grilled Portobello Burgers with Garlic Mayo
Makes 4 sandwiches
These are just as tasty broiled as grilled, so don’t worry if you don’t have access to a grill.
Scoop out the portobellos’ “gills” with a spoon. They come out really easily this way.
We like our garlic a lot, so we use a lot when we cook. You can absolutely use less for the mayo, if you prefer.
If you like, you can definitely add cheese to these! Just lay a slice on top a minute or so before they come off the grill or out of the broiler.
– 1/2 cup mayonnaise
– 4 cloves of garlic
– 2 tsp of lemon zest
– 1 tsp lemon juice
– A few drops of extra virgin olive oil
– Lemon sea salt or any course salt and black pepper to taste
* Crush the garlic in a garlic press or mortar and pestle.
* In a small bowl, add the garlic, lemon salt, pepper, lemon juice, lemon zest, and olive oil. Mix well until blended.
* Add the mayo to the garlic mixture and mix thoroughly. Refrigerate until needed.
– 4 medium sized portobello mushrooms, cleaned with gills removed
– 2 sprigs of tarragon, stems discarded, leaves chopped
– 2 lemons, washed: 1 zested, both juiced
– 2 tbs olive oil
– 1/2 tsp lemon sea salt or any coarse salt
– 2 tomatoes (the ripest you can find on the vine, heirloom, or beefsteak)
– Lettuce leaves (we used Bibb)
– 4 of your favorite hamburger buns
* In a non-reactive, flat baking dish, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, tarragon, and salt. Stir to mix well.
* Add the portobellos to the marinade and spoon or baste it over both sides of the mushrooms. Marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature turning them over and basting again after 15 minutes.
* During this time, get your grill or broiler started.
* Remove the portobellos (along with as much tarragon as you can scoop up) from the marinade and grill or place them on a roasting pan.
* If you’re using a broiler, make sure the mushrooms are about 6 inches from the heating element. Cook for about 5 minutes on each side.
* While the mushrooms are cooking, slice your tomatoes, get your lettuce leaves ready, and toast your buns.
* Remove the portobellos from the grill or oven when done. Assemble your sandwich, coating both halves of the buns with garlic mayo, and stacking the tomato slices, portobello, and lettuce leaves.
©2014 Lee and Lou Cook. All rights reserved.