Who says you need meat to make a perfect burger?
Ryan and I didn’t really have any doubts as to the merits of a good portobello burger, but after this dinner last week, we think even the most steadfast carnivore could be swayed.
The whole dinner was inspired by a recipe in My Father’s Daughter, a new cookbook written by Gwyneth Paltrow (yes, that Gwyneth Paltrow).
First, Paltrow’s recipe calls for on-the-vine tomatoes to be halved and slow-roasted in the oven, with just a bit of olive oil and salt, for 3-5 hours. We let our first batch roast for nearly the full five hours before pulling out shriveled, tangy little gems, but they were so good that we ate them up instantly!
We roasted our second batch (the ones you see here) for just over two hours and were rewarded with still plump, juicy tomatoes—perfect for topping a burger.
Next, we let our giant portobellos marinate with some smashed garlic cloves, salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice for about 15 minutes. In the meantime, I sliced up a sweet onion and a few slices of smoky fresh mozzarella.
We forewent the fries this dinner in lieu of a healthier option—kale chips. We first made kale chips last year and have since become addicted to their salty bite and bitter green flavor.
After tearing the kale into pieces (removing any thick ribs first), we put them on a baking sheet with salt, red pepper and a bit of olive oil and roasted them at 300 degrees for about 20 minutes. The result: earth-shatteringly crunchy, emerald green chips. Every bit as decadent as your typical salted crisps.
The portobellos were cooked in a sauté pan for about 10 minutes, along with the sliced onion, until they both were lusciously tender and packed full of juice and flavor.
The final, simple step: build your burger however you like! We used sesame brioche buns, which we piled high with our mushrooms, grilled onions and slices of mozzarella cheese. We ran the finished product until the broiler for a minute (who doesn’t love warm, gooey mozzarella?) and then topped with aforementioned tangy tomatoes.
Biting into this burger was no different than taking a bite out of a medium-rare beef patty and even just as enjoyable, especially with the company of a crisp Shiner Ruby Red beer (imported from New Jersey).