Grilled Portobello Mushroom Burger with Chipotle Aioli

17 Apr

Dear Bec,

In the last couple of weeks, spring has hit our frozen tundra hard, causing puddles, bird noises, budding and a huge sense of relief for all us winter-haters out there.  Though no produce is yet growing here, the weather has giving me a plethora of motivation and inspiration.  The culinary idea slump from the winter has been replaced with endless ideas of how to redefine my weekly food menu.  Soups have been replaced by cold salads.  Oven-heavy bakes have been replaced by faster and lighter grilled items.  Summer grilling season is coming and this time I come prepared!

Love Jess

I love portobello mushrooms.  Sometimes referred to as the meat of all vegetables, they are so rich, juicy and flavorful.  They are also a good source of protein and fiber, making them a nutritious and tasty meat substitute.  Also, this particular burger cooks in about eight minutes (less if you use a real grill, not a broiler), making it a fast meal to throw together on hectic days.


About a year ago I learned that, working in the restaurant industry, I have access to Restaurant Depot, a bulk grocery store exclusively for restaurant owners.  You need a special membership to shop there and it is all bulk, food industry items.  After a couple months of buying bulk everything (I still have a giant jar of dried mushrooms and about a million capers and kalamata olives) I finally settled on one must have item from the store: a 5lb box of portobello mushrooms priced at only $9.95.  Ever since then, most meals at my house include some permutation of the portobello.  My recent discovery of this dish, however, is likely to make my portobello mushroom intake increase even further.

om nom nom the burger

Grilled Portobello Burger with Chipotle Aioli

Start with the aioli.  The great thing about this is you can expand the recipe and make up a big batch and that will last for some time; after all, mayonnaise is essentially a preservative.  Want it vegan?  Use vegan mayo.

2 Cups Mayonnaise (don’t use miracle whip- for any purpose ever.  It is gross…)
2-3 Tbsp Chipotle peppers with Adobo sauce
2 tsp Cumin
A handfull of cilantro, rough chopped
Juice from half a lemon or a whole lime

Throw all this stuff in your blender.  Blend until smooth.  Want it spicier?  Add more chipotle.  Hate cilantro?  Don’t add it.  There is no science or chemistry to this aioli.  Futz with it until it tastes good to you.

The burger can also have many permutations.  I served it on a toasted whole wheat bun with roasted red peppers, baby greens, raw red onion, tomato slices and goat cheese.  The goat cheese might have been over the top.  I won’t include it here.

4 portobello caps (or, you know, one or two for everyone you’re feeding) don’t throw away the stems- use them in stocks later.
A couple heaping Tbsp of olive oil and balsamic vinegar- I just used the balsamic vinagrette I make for my salads.
1 large red bell pepper
some baby greens or baby spinach or lettuce of some sort
some red onion
1 small roma tomato, sliced thinly
Enough buns for each burger.

Start by roasting the pepper.  Turn the broiler on high and keep the pepper under the heat, turning it periodically until all sides are blackened.  Remove it and, if you are anything like me, be too impatient to let it cool and instead burn yourself while trying to peel the skin off a steaming hot pepper.  Or, you know, be smart and let it cool first. Once peeled, chop into strips.

While the pepper is roasting and cooling, marinate the mushrooms in the oil and the vinegar, adding salt and pepper to taste.  Throw the mushrooms under the broil and cook for about 4 minutes on each side.  The timing will depend a lot on how big or fresh the mushrooms are.  They will probably get a little charred on the tops, but I like that flavor.  Cook them until they are oozing with their own juices and squishy in the middle. If using a grill, put them on a medium heat part of the grill and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side (or, again, until done).

When the mushrooms are done, set them aside to cool for a few minutes.  In the mean time, throw your buns under the broiler (or on the grill) to toast.  This would be an excellent time to melt any cheese you intend to have on your burger.  With the aioli, it doesn’t really need cheese, but cheese is delicious, so do whatever you want.

When the buns are toasted, slather both top and bottom with chipotle aioli.  Place mushroom, roasted pepper strips, baby greens, onion and tomato on the burger, eat it and enjoy.  Serve it with chips, a green salad or french fries.  It will be delicious.  It will be healthy.  It will take you under fifteen minutes to prepare.  It pretty much wins.


5 Responses to “Grilled Portobello Mushroom Burger with Chipotle Aioli”

  1. Zoe April 18, 2011 at 12:44 pm #

    I read this and them immediately left the park I was in, purchased mushrooms and chipotle peppers, broiled them and then decided that this is the best meal ever. I shall be eating it for dinner from now on. THANK YOU!

  2. Emma April 18, 2011 at 6:55 pm #

    I am shocked that you made aioli without GARLIC! Who does that? 🙂

    • Emma April 18, 2011 at 6:56 pm #

      Ok, I give in..This looks and sounds amazing.

      • emmaduer April 21, 2011 at 11:30 pm #

        Bellas on sale… Making burgers… Salivating uncontrollably 🙂


  1. Just Add Wine Cocktail, Yeild One Chichi Cookout « The People v. Picket Fence - July 20, 2011

    […] this excellent string of BBQ’s, which you anticipated in April with your Portobello Mushroom grillers, I am starting to feel, well, thirsty.  And while Coors Light and Molson Canadian may […]

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