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Perfect Portabella and Red Pepper Almost Burgers


Even the nonmeat-eaters want a burger now and then. This recipe treats the Portobello, really an overgrown Cremini mushroom, as if it were a real chunk of ground sirloin. If properly prepared, there is a chance that with your eyes closed, you might not be able to tell the difference.

The earthy overtones of Carneros Pinot Noir match the forest floor flavors of this burger; recommended producers include Etude, Beringer and Saintsbury.

Get the scoop on essential burger and wine pairings >>>

From the Wine Enthusiast Pairings Book
Number of Servings
Serves 4
For the red pepper mayonnaise
1 cup prepared roasted red peppers, drained and coarsely chopped
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Portobello burgers
4 large Portobello mushrooms, stems removed and wiped clean
Sweet onion, such as Vidalia, thickly sliced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 whole-wheat rolls, split in half
1 bunch arugula, trimmed, rinsed, and patted dry
Start a charcoal grill and build a medium-hot fire; preheat a gas grill to medium-high, or preheat a broiler, setting the rack on the second highest level.

To make the red pepper mayonnaise: Blend the peppers, mayonnaise, garlic, and Tabasco sauce in a food processor fitted with the steel blade until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste and chill until ready to use.

To make the Portobello mushrooms: Brush the mushrooms and onion slices with the oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill the mushrooms and onions until tender, turning often, about 10 minutes.

To serve, arrange 1 grilled Portobello, gill side down, on the bottom half of each split bun. Top with some of the grilled onions, a generous tablespoon of the red pepper mayonnaise, and arugula leaves. Set the remaining bun halves on top, and serve immediately, with the remaining red pepper mayonnaise as an accompaniment.
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