Portabella Mushroom Burger with Sundried Pesto Yogurt Sauce

Pin It Happy Independence Day to Belgium.  In typical Independence Day fashion we grilled out, but it wasn't your average beefy grill out.

Beef.  Who needs it?  Portabella? Sign me up! Okay, I still la-la-love (times 1,000)  a good beefy burger (see my post about Cool Bun, Brussels here), but this Portabella was a great change of pace.  I wasn't sure the mushroom would hold up on a bun, but it proved to be more than meaty enough and the flavor was out of this world.  We topped it with a sun-dried pesto yogurt sauce we made out of some leftover Perfect Pesto, from last night's Italian Nonna Pesto Lasagna.  The sauce on this portabella burger was the boss.
I have been dreaming about Portabella Burgers since I had success with Portabella Fajitas.  The only problem was, every time I went to the grocery store they were out!  But not this time.  I was in luck.  I should have bought the entire stock (which was about 8 Mushrooms).  But, I wasn't sure how long they would last nor how delicious these "burgers" would be.  Guess Portabellas aren't that popular in Belgium.
After marinating in Balsamic, Olive Oil, Garlic, Rosemary & Lemon for about 20 minutes, these bad boys were ready to be grilled up.  Grill a red pepper side by side for topping your burger.
These burgers aren't just for little girls or vegetarians.  They are for meat-eating men (Shown above, Paul's plate as proof).  Real Men eat their veggies.
I attempted to caramelize onions, but it didn't work out too well.  Must not have given it enough time. The toppings came together perfectly, although a little caramelization would have been A-One-er (meaning beyond awesome).  I am not sure if it is a real word or one that only my dad uses that I always thought was real growing up.
Portabella, it's what's for dinner.
Portabella, up close and personal. 

Portabella Mushroom Burger with Sundried Pesto Yogurt Sauce
Marinade adapted from Rachel Ray

serves 2 


1 red onion, sliced
1 tsp Olive Oil
2 Portabellas, stems removed
3 T Olive Oil
4 T Balsamic Vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
Half of a lemon, juiced
a dash of rosemary
Salt & Pepper
1 red pepper
1 recipe Yogurt Sundried Pesto Sauce (as follows)
2 whole wheat buns


Heat a sauté pan with a tsp of olive oil.  Add onion.  Caramelize over low heat for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Marinate Portabellas for 20 minutes in the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, lemon, rosemary, salt & pepper.  Start grill while mushrooms are marinating.  Halve and remove seeds of the red pepper.  Put red pepper and portabellas on the grill.  Grill each side for about 5-6 minutes, starting cap side up.  Toast buns for a minute or so.  Top bun with Portabella, roasted red pepper slices, caramelized onions, and Sundried Pesto Yogurt sauce.

Sundried Pesto Yogurt Sauce
1/4 c Perfect Pesto (recipe below)
1/4 c Greek or Plain Yogurt
1/8 c chopped sundried tomatoes
Mix above ingredients.

Perfect Pesto
4 cups loosely packed fresh basil
4 cloves garlic 
1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil 

1/2 cup pine nuts

Juice of 1/4 of lemon

1/4 cup freshly grated percorino romano

1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan 


Start toasting pine nuts on the stove over medium heat, shaking pan frequently or in the oven on 350 F for 10 minutes.  Chop garlic and basil together (if you have a garlic chopper, use that) into fine pieces.  Put basil and garlic mixture into a mortar bowl.  Add pine nuts and 1/2 of the olive oil.  Mash into a cream like paste.  Add the cheeses and the remaining oil.  Continue to mash a little more.  Once to your desired consistency,  squeeze the lemon juice on top, and stir.  Salt and pepper if desired.

Bon Appétit!

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