The Green Grocer: The haunting recipes



Do recipes ever haunt you? Like maybe you cooked a dish once and it was so delectable you vowed you’d make it any time you ever had company again — but then the next few times you did, you just couldn’t repeat the magic?

Or perhaps you remember a dish — maybe you made it, maybe someone else did — but no matter how hard you try to recreate it, it just never lives up to your memory?

These are the kinds of haunting recipes I’m talking about. The one that plagues me the most is a grilled portobello mushroom burger. That darn recipe stalks my kitchen, rattling whisks and knocking cookbooks to the floor — and you know what? I still can’t get that recipe right.

The one I’ve offered below isn’t quite as good as the one I remember, but that one exists only in missing teaspoons and tablespoons at the moment. If it ever comes back to me, you’ll be the first to know!

Grilled Portobello Mushroom Burger

Adapted slightly from


For the Marinade:

• 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

• 1/4 cup olive oil

• 2 tablespoons lemon juice

• 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

• 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (optional)

• 3 medium cloves garlic, minced(about one tablespoon)

• 1 teaspoon finely minced thyme leaves

• Salt and pepper to taste

For the burgers

• 4 portobello mushrooms, stems removed and scrubbed clean

• 4 hamburger buns

• 4 pieces of green or red leaf lettuce, washed and dried

• 1 roma tomato, sliced

• 1 red onion, thinly sliced


In a bowl, whisk together the marinade ingredients.

Place portobellos in a sealable container. Pour in the marinade and toss the mushrooms until thoroughly coated. Let marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread the coals evenly over the entire surface of the coal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover the grill, and allow to preheat for five minutes. After preheating, clean and oil the grilling grate. Grill the mushrooms until juicy and tender, three to four minutes per side.

Transfer portobellos to buns and top with desired lettuce, tomato, and red onion.


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