We make our Mushroom Burger with broiled mushrooms, which are ridiculously rich, and a great substitute for meat when you want that savory taste and meaty texture. In my opinion, they are the perfect solution to the conundrum of the meatless burger. Prepping mushrooms is easy — simply cut away the stalks and wipe the top of their caps with a damp cloth. Speedy stuff indeed, making them a great standby for weary cancer patients and caregivers. And there’s more good news. Mushrooms are rich in vitamins and minerals like selenium, good for guys as it is protective of prostate health. And they are also low in calories. If you need to keep an eye on your weight, welcome to a deliciously perfect, nutrient-dense dish.
1. Preheat the broiler. Make the basil pesto as outlined here.
2. Spread the mushroom caps, rounded side down, and the tomatoes, cut side up on a baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.
3. Place 6-inches under the broiler for 7 minutes. Lay the cheese on the mushroom caps, and continue to broil until melted, about 2 minutes. Remove from oven, then lightly toast the burger buns under the broiler.
4. Lay the buns open on a work surface and spread a heaping tablespoon of Basil Pesto on the bottom bun. Evenly divide the tomatoes between the four buns and place the mushrooms on them cheesy side down. Top with arugula and the top bun and serve.
Ann's Tips and Tricks
It’s important to buy mushrooms that are fresh. The gills of fresh portabellas should be dry, and a light mushroom brown color — they are edible so there’s no need to trim them off. If the mushrooms are black and bruised-looking, they’re old.
If you can, avoid buying pre-packed portabella mushroom caps. You need to be able to see the color of the gills underneath, and the way they’re usually packed, it’s impossible to know what you’ve bought until you get them home.
If you are on a low fiber diet, use a brioche bun or other soft white flour burger bun.
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