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 >>>

  • 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.

Published on June 5, 2015