When you’re away at work, class, or whatever other obligations for 11+ hours per day, coming home and being able to fix something to eat quickly is key. Hence my latest favorite food: portobello burgers. Assuming you have the ingredients on hand, this is a very quick and satisfying meal. I usually make my bread/roll at home, which means I need to plan ahead to have it ready. The advantage, besides tasting great, is that making your own roll allows you to shape it large enough. Most portobellos I’ve met would dwarf a regular roll, but of course it’s up to you and you can always cut the mushroom in half. When eating this “burger,” BEWARE OF LIQUID! I’ve never thought of mushrooms as a particularly juicy food, but believe me, they are! You’ll have it running down your chin and dripping off the back of the sandwich, so be prepared!
1 portobello mushroom
dash balsamic vinegar
large slice natural cheddar (opt)
1 large roll, sliced
2 slices tomato
1 leaf of lettuce
condiments to taste
Move your oven rack into the highest possible position and turn on your broiler. Rinse the dirt off of the outside of your mushroom, trying not to soak it, and break off the stem (save it for some other use). Put the mushroom on an ungreased cookie sheet, brush it with balsamic vinegar, and put it under the broiler for about a minute. Take it out, flip it over, lay the cheese gently on top if desired, and return to the oven for another minute or so. It will start to look a little shriveled and be softer when you push on it- take it out, you’re done! During those two minutes of cooking time, you can get the rest of the sandwich together: slice your roll, spread it with mayo (try homemade-it doesn’t take much longer than the mushroom to prepare), and layer on the lettuce, tomato, and any other condiments of choice. Eat up, congratulating yourself on the speed with which you just whipped up a fantastic dinner.
If you need a side, you can of course make any number of things, but one that matches the sandwich in prep time is a microwaved sweet potato. Before starting on the mushroom, wash and puncture with a fork a small sweet potato. Wrap it in a damp paper towel and throw it in the microwave for a few minutes. Cooking time will vary widely depending on the size of the potato and the strength of your microwave, but it shouldn’t take long and you can fix your mushroom while you wait. When you can squeeze the potato and it collapses easily under the pressure, it’s ready. Slice it open, scoop out the pulp, and mash it with a fork.
Voilà! Portobello burger and sweet potato purée in less than ten minutes. Does life get better?