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I used to cook portobello mushroom burgers all the time, but that went out the door as soon as I met my now-fiance. The thought of a “burger” that was not a burger at all did not exactly appeal to him.
This recipe changed all that. He gobbled his mushroom burger up and asked if we could make them again the following week. That’s because these aren’t just any mushroom burgers. Topped with gooey smoked Gouda, a slew of tangy Peppadew peppers, and a handful of peppery arugula, the result is a meatless burger that’s so far from ordinary, it’s one that both vegetarians and carnivores can 100 percent get behind.
What makes this portobello mushroom burger better than all the rest is that it’s layered with flavor. While portobellos have a great earthy, meaty flavor all their own, they do need a little something to give them spunk. Filling their caps with smoked Gouda quickly solves that problem. It melts while the mushroom caps cook and infuses its smoky flavor into the vegetable.
Slid on a bun that’s swiped with Dijonnaise, all this meatless burger needs to make it really sing is a sprinkling of juicy, tangy, just-a-touch-spicy Peppadew peppers and some fresh arugula.
Smoky Portobello Mushroom Cheeseburgers
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
4 large portobello mushrooms, stemmed
2 tablespoons olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces smoked Gouda cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
4 brioche hamburger buns, split
4 ounces Peppadew peppers, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
1 cup loosely packed arugula
Heat an outdoor grill to medium-high heat (375 F to 425 F). Whisk together the Dijon and mayonnaise in a small bowl and set aside.
Brush mushrooms on both sides with the oil, then season with salt and pepper. Place the mushrooms on the grill stem-side down, cover, and grill for 4 minutes. Flip the mushrooms, cover, and grill until mushrooms are tender, about 4 minutes more.
Divided the Gouda among the mushroom caps. Arrange the buns cut-side down on the grill. Cover and cook until the cheese is melted and the cut sides of the rolls are golden-brown, about 1 minute more.
Place the bottom halves of the buns cut-side up on plates and spread with half of the Dijonnaise. Top each with a mushroom. Top with the Peppadew peppers and arugula. Spread the cut side of the bun tops with the remaining Dijonnaise, place on the arugula to close the burgers, and serve.
Recipe notes: You can also bake the mushrooms instead of grilling them. Heat the oven to 425 F. Place the oiled and seasoned mushrooms on a rimmed baking sheet stem-side down and roast until just tender, about 15 minutes. Flip them, fill the caps with the Gouda, and continue to bake until the cheese is melted, 2 to 3 minutes. Toast the buns in the oven.
Sheela Prakash is assistant food editor for TheKitchn.com, a nationally known blog for people who love food and home cooking. Submit any comments or questions to email@example.com.