This recipe makes ingenious use of portabello mushrooms. An all-too-expected ingredient in unsophisticated vegetarian cuisine, the portabello mushroom often replaces a burger patty. Not so with this burger.

Instead, two mushroom caps take place of the bun, and sandwich an assortment of grilled veggies. Like all good burgers, the condiments are not forgotten — in this case, the "buns" are coated with pesto and balsamic vinegar. If this recipe sounds interesting to you, get it now and


Vegan Burger

Vegan Burger


  1. 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  2. 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
  3. 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  4. 1 tablespoon very finely chopped garlic
  5. Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  6. 8 large portobello mushrooms, 31/2 to 4 inches in diameter
  7. 1 pound fat zucchini (about 2 inches in diameter), preferably both yellow and green ones, cut into 1/4-inch thick rounds
  8. 1 pound plum tomatoes, thickly sliced
  9. 2 large red bell peppers, cut into 1 1/2-inch-wide strips
  10. 1 large (about 1 pound) purple eggplant cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds (about 8 slices)
  11. 4 large handfuls arugula
  12. About 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  13. About 1/3 cup Pesto (Store bought or homemade)


  1. Build a medium-hot fire in a barbecue. In a medium bowl, whisk together the 1 cup of olive oil, thyme, rosemary, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Scrape the gills from the portobellos and arrange them on a rimmed baking sheet. Add the zucchini, tomatoes, bell peppers, and eggplant to the baking sheet. Brush all the vegetables with the herbed oil.
  3. Brush the grill rack with olive oil, transfer the vegetables to the grill, and cook, turning as needed and being careful not to let the olive oil flame up, until tender. The zucchini and tomatoes will be done first, needing just 2 to 3 minutes per side. The peppers will be done next. If you have been careful to just brown them, they will not need to be peeled. The mushrooms and fresh eggplant will need about 5 minutes per side.
  4. In a medium bowl, toss the arugula with some of the remaining herbed olive oil and the balsamic vinegar. Taste for seasoning and set aside.
  5. To build the burgers, generously spread the gill side of 4 mushrooms with pesto. Top with yellow zucchini, several tomato slices, green zucchini, eggplant slices, and several strips of bell pepper. Drizzle another small spoonful of pesto over all and close with another mushroom. Arrange some of the arugula salad on the side and serve immediately.

Serves 4.

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