Grilled Balsamic Portabello Mushroom Burgers

I really am not a huge mushroom fan so for years I have avoided any sort of burger with a giant mushroom in place of the meat. But when one of my sisters made a delicious marinade for mushrooms and grilled them, and they were really, really good, I thought maybe it was time to try a portabello (is it portabello or portabella?) burger. I used her marinade, another sister’s hamburger recipe, and a complete stranger’s bun recipe to make this.

If you are at all concerned about having to eat an enormous vegetable when what you really want is beef, please trust me, you will love it. It doesn’t feel like its missing meat, its not a chore to eat for you non veggie lovers. Its delicious. It is so juicy and wonderful, I could honestly eat these every day.

One important tip, when it comes to cleaning the mushrooms, do not just rinse them in water before attempting to remove the gills. I did this on my first try, the mushroom soaked up all the water and turned to mush in my hands as I tried to scrape off the gills. Instead, remove the gills with a spoon before washing them. To wash them, I used a wet paper towel and gently wiped them clean to keep the mushrooms from acting like a sponge and soaking up a ton of water.

Despite these tips, I still hate cleaning the mushrooms. I feel clumsy and like I am mutilating it. The gills are edible but will give the finished burger an ugly color. If there is a better way to clean and remove the gills, I would love to hear! But in the very end, after marinading in a dark marinade and then being grilled, they really don’t look like I did a terrible job cleaning them. But still, I am unhappy with how they look before they go in the ziplock bag, so I’d really love to hear from you if I am doing it wrong.

For the marinade:

  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 balsamic vinegar
  • 2 1/2 tsp. finely chopped garlic
  • 1/3 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/3 tsp. pepper
  • 4 portabello mushrooms, cleaned and gills removed

Note my clumsy, half destroyed looking “cleaned” mushroom:

In a ziplock bag add all marinade ingredients. Shake to mix, add mushrooms, toss to coat, refrigerate for 4+ hours (can be marinated overnight.)

Heat grill and prepare toppings. For my burgers went with tomato, onion, asiago cheese, fresh basil, arugula, this aioli, and these buns.

Grill for about 8-10 minutes, 4-5 on each side. Don’t worry if it looks like it may be burned, it isn’t, the balsamic is very dark and the mushrooms has just absorbed all the color. Just don’t burn them for real and make a liar out of me!

Ready to go on the grill!

And the cheese getting all melty and perfect:

Mediterranean Stuffed Chicken Breasts

This recipe was a new one, it is from the latest issue of cooking light. The chicken is moist and delicious but my favorite part was the stuffing which I think would make a great spread on a toasted baguette or even tossed with baby greens and a little olive oil. At only 210 calories per stuffed chicken breast, make sure you save room for dessert!

  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 1/4 crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped pitted kalamata olives
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
  • 8 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • salt
  • pepper

Preheat broiler. Cut bell pepper in half lengthwise, discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves, skin side up on a foil covered baking sheet. Flatten with hand, broil 15 minutes or until blackened.

Place  bell pepper in a ziplock bag, seal and let stand for 15 minutes.  Peel and finely chop. Prepare grill to medium high heat. Combine bell peppers, cheese, olives, and basil.

Cut a horizontal slit through thickest portion of each chicken breast to form a pocket. Stuff 2 tablespoons of bell pepper mixture into each pocket and close opening with a toothpick.

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Place chicken on grill coated with cooking spray. Grill 6 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from grill, cover loosely with foil, let stand 10 minutes.