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.
- 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.