Meatless Monday: Balsamic and Pesto Goat Cheese Portobello Burgers

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My parents live blocks away from an amazing farmer’s market. While the market is only open in the warmer months, it is plentiful and diverse during those months. My personal favorites are the corn ears that arrive by the truck full and people just climb all over the corn picking out their ears, and a close second, the gladiola vendors who come with the talk stalks of summer flowers in any and every color.

And hey, the freshly made donuts aren’t bad either 😉

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But, let’s leave comment on the donuts behind. Today is Meatless Monday, but we’re going to keep it healthy.

In recent years, my parents started buying portobello mushrooms from their lovely farmer’s market. They marinade and grill them most often. I’m not sure if they eat them as a side or sandwich…or as an ingredient in other dishes. The beauty is, these meaty mushrooms are exceptionally low in calories and full of fiber and micronutrients…and they can be used in so many ways throughout cooking.

My only wish is that Mr. Prevention loved portobellos as much as me.

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When Mr. Prevention was away for business recently, I decided to recreate a sandwich I had last summer that wow-ed me. All I know is that goat cheese and pesto were involved…and that’s all I needed to know. I took things a bit further by marinading the mushrooms in high quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar…with a TON of garlic. The flavors paired beautifully with the creamy goat cheese and earthy pesto.

Why did it take me so long to put a mushroom on a sandwich? So good.

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Balsamic and Pesto Goat Cheese Portobello Burgers

2 (3 oz) portobellos, stems removed
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 oz goat cheese, softened
1 1/2 Tbsp prepared pesto
1 cup mixed spring greens
2 (2.5 oz) foccacia buns, cut in half
olive oil spray

Directions:

Combine oil, vinegar, and garlic in a gallon-size zip top bag or large bowl; add portobellos and rotate to coat well. Marinade the mushrooms for at least several hours, up to 24 hours.

Heat an indoor griddle or grill, or large frying pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the portobellos and cook 3-4 minutes per side or until softened and heated through; remove from heat and cover to keep warm.

Meanwhile, combine the goat cheese and pesto in a small dish; set aside.

Spray the cut side of each side of the foccacia buns with olive oil and heat cut side down in the warm pan until warmed and slightly browned.  Remove from heat and smear with the goat cheese-pesto mixture, add the portobello and spring mix. Serve hot.

Yield: 2 sandwiches

Nutrition Information (per sandwich): 380 calories; 21.5 g. fat; 15 mg. cholesterol; 589 mg. sodium; 36.0 g. carbohydrate; 3.5 g. fiber; 7.0 g. protein

Result: I find portobello sandwiches to be so satisfying — the mushrooms are so dense and take on flavors so well, that I consider them a blank slate that is extremely low in calories and a good source of fiber. Even with the rich goat cheese and pesto, I love that this sandwich on the indulgent foccacia comes in under 400 calories. Pair this sandwich with a soup or salad and you’ve got one filling, healthy, vegetarian meal 🙂

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Fingers crossed for NO SNOW this week! Bring on spring!

Be well,

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20 Comments

  1. February 11, 2013 / 7:23 am

    I’ve used mushrooms as the replacement in quesadillas and such, but have yet to do the “burger”. I’m absolutely positive the boy would be willing to try this… he’s a meat eater, but he can’t resist goat cheese…

  2. February 11, 2013 / 8:49 am

    These sound wonderful. I always forget that Nick actually loves portobello mushrooms. Yeah, it’s insane, but he does. Goat cheese, however, he hates, and I could seriously take a bath in it I love it SO MUCH! haha, gross, but seriously, it’s delicious.

  3. February 11, 2013 / 9:06 am

    I love portobello burgers! These sound phenomenal!

  4. February 11, 2013 / 9:44 am

    Everything about this sandwich is calling to me! These flavour combinations are just perfect-I love Portabella’s with goat cheese!! Tahnks for shainrg…

    -Shannon

  5. February 11, 2013 / 10:40 am

    I love the Oak Park Farmers Market – my Mom volunteers for the 19th Century Women’s club once a month during the summer making donuts – the smell alone is worth the long line!

    And Hannah and I tried portabella mushrooms for the first time over the summer at a Farmers Market on the North side of Chicago – they were marinated and we were both surprised at how “meaty” they tasted.

    Fingers crossed you don’t get more snow this week!

  6. February 11, 2013 / 11:35 am

    This sandwich has my name ALL over it!
    I love all the ingredients..especially the goat cheese!

  7. February 11, 2013 / 12:45 pm

    I just looked at the first photo and said “holy crap”. This look ahhhhhmazing

  8. Rachel
    February 14, 2013 / 7:06 pm

    This was amazing! Of note, looks like your photo is of ciabatta and not foccaccia. I made fresh rosemary foccaccia rolls just for this recipe. You’re right – super-satisfying and yummy!

  9. Alicia
    February 16, 2013 / 10:49 pm

    This reminds me of one of my favorite sandwiches from a deli that used to be near my work, The only difference is they used pesta mayo, but I think the pesto/goat cheese is much better.I never considered recreating them, but this makes it seem so easy. Can’t wait to try.

  10. Becca
    May 28, 2013 / 6:58 pm

    These were AMAZING!!! Loved the pesto goat cheese, next party I have I’m going to make just that as a spread for bread 🙂

  11. April 15, 2017 / 10:25 am

    LOOks so delicious. I love how you can use it in various ways !

  12. March 23, 2019 / 3:15 am

    What a gorgeous soup. It looks like molten gold and your photos of it are wonderful. I hope you have a great weekend. Blessings…

  13. April 22, 2019 / 8:20 am

    Best recipe yet. It came out perfect and definitely not mushy! It’s pinned and saved for next time!

  14. June 6, 2019 / 2:09 am

    LOOks so delicious. I love how you can use it in various ways !

  15. June 7, 2019 / 1:20 am

    Your post excite me too cook beef. I really like it. Thank you for this recipe, hope I’ll be able to cook something like this sooner. I can’t wait until the weekend. Looking forward for more great stuff here. More power!

  16. November 15, 2019 / 4:58 pm

    I love how you wrote this article. Very easy to follow and the meat turned out aaaaamazing.

  17. April 5, 2020 / 3:30 am

    two words sums this recipe up “simply amazing”

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