Friday, April 20, 2012

Grilled Portobello Burgers w/ Three Greens Pesto {a recipe} And why I will never be a famous food blogger

Last weekend I had this amazing Portobello sandwich at one of our favorite restaurants, Bissell House in Ridgefield, CT. It was so yummy that everyone else at the table (one who was eating a burger, and one who was eating a spicy fried chicken sandwich) wished they had ordered it instead. HA! I knew I had to recreate this beauty at home. 

The sandwich at the restaurant had an Arugula Pesto. I decided to make a Three Greens Pesto. Mostly because I had Basil I wanted to use and when I went to grab the Arugula, I realized I actually bought a mixture of Baby Arugula and Baby Spinach. Whoops! Whateves..Three Greens it was! 

The pesto recipe I used was adapted from the Arugula Pesto from Simply Recipes. Instead of using 2 cups of Arugula, I used one cup of the Spinach/Arugula blend and one cup of basil. And I didn't use all 6 cloves of garlic. Just four. I think 6 would've been way too kickin' for me. Note my lovely dirty dishes. Why yes, those are princess plates. 

The sandwich had some sort of roasted/marinated tomatoes on it. I didn't feel like roasting. LAZY. So I went with just marinating them. I adapted a recipe for Marinated Tomatoes from the butter queen herself, Miss Paula Deen. Mmmm, Grrrrll!! Instead of using parsley, I went with Basil since I used it in the pesto. My husband hates thyme. Ever since the thyme (ha! ugh) when we were super young, like 23, and I made a ginormous lasagna and dumped a ton o' thyme into the sauce instead of basil. Whoops! Tasted like dirt. But man did he eat the hell of out that lasagna just to make me feel better. What a guy. So I used some dried Italian seasoning instead. It has a wee bit of thyme but not enough to induce gagging. 

Instead of using all veg oil, I subbed in some of this amazing Lemon Olive Oil we got when we were in Napa from The St. Helena Olive Oil Co. Don't be a dumb dumb. If you're ever in the area (LUCKY!) go there! And then make the people around you (strangers) taste things that you just tasted because they were so awesome that you had to share the love. Or don't. I think it weirded people out. 

Here's the deal. I make food to actually eat. Which means, that for the most part, I take pictures of food at night. Which is a horrible idea. The lighting is junk. Unfortunately (fortunately?!) we're a real family. And my real husband works in NYC. NYC is an hour from our house. So during the week, for the most part, this guy gets home anywhere between 6:15 and 7:30. Or later. GASP! Yes, it's true. We rarely eat as a family during the week. I know, I should be put in jail. It's just the way it is! And that my friends is why I can never be a famous food blogger. That and I don't really blog about food all the time. And I forget to take pictures of the food we do eat. And I watch far too much HBO. I'm not sure if that's a reason, but it's just a fact. Oh wait, the burgers! So about 15 minutes before grilling the burgers, I marinated them in a combo of balsamic, olive oil, minced garlic and more Italian seasoning. We grilled the mushrooms on a well oiled grill for about 5-8 minutes a side. Topped with some fresh mozzarella at the end, and DONE! 

Here they are. Grilled Portobello Burgers with Three Greens Pesto and Marinated Tomatoes.  And a dirty martini. Obviously. 

Grilled Portobello Burgers with Three Greens Pesto and Marinated Tomatoes
(adapted from Simply Recipes and Paula Deen) 

Three Greens Pesto:
1 cup packed Basil Leaves
1 cup packed Arugula/Spinach Leaves
1/2 cup Walnuts
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
1/2 cup Olive Oil
4 garlic cloves, unpeeled. 
1 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1/2 tsp of salt

1. Brown 4 cloves of garlic with their skins on in a skillet over medium high heat until the garlic is browned in spots. About 10 minutes. Let cool and peel. 

2. Toast the walnuts in the same skillet over medium heat until lightly browned. 

3. Combine greens, roasted and raw garlic, walnuts, and salt in a food processor. Pulse while drizzling olive oil into the processor. Remove the mixture and add to a bowl. Stir in the parm. Set aside. Take a few bites because it's so yummy.

Marinated Tomatoes:
3 tbl. chopped fresh basil
1 tbl sugar
1 1/2 tsp garlic salt
1 1/2 tsp seasoned salt 
1/2 tsp pepper
3/4 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup of Lemon olive oil
1/2 cup of red wine vinegar
4 to 6 large tomatoes cut into wedges. 

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 2 hours. 

Marinated Portobello Mushrooms:
4 portobello mushroom caps
1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
2 tbl of olive oil
2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1 tbl minced garlic
salt and pepper
Fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced thin

1. Place mushroom caps in a shallow dish. Top with marinade. Let sit at room temperature for around 15 minutes. Turning a few times. 

2. Pre-heat grill for medium high heat. Brush or spray grill with oil. Place mushrooms on the grill, reserving marinade for basting. Grill for around 5-8 minutes per sides basting frequently with marinade. Top with slices of fresh mozzarella during the last two minutes of cooking. 

Grill buns, top with pesto, tomatoes and the portobello slices. EAT! 
Yum. I'm jealous. I want one, right now. I'm kind of mad at you all for eating one when I'm not having one. I know, I'm crazy. 

Happy Friday! Have a fabulous weekend, lovies!


  1. Yum!! I have been on a portobello burger kick for like...2 years. Basically since being pregnant. Very weird. Definitely making these at some point.

    Also? You're hilarious. <3

    1. aw shucks! Dude, this burger RULES! My totally meat eating husband couldn't get over how much he loved it. SCORE!

  2. oh my, those must make my menu soon. Maybe next weekend when we're in 3-day potty training hell. Those would make me feel better. And my husband will love me for anything tomato-related.

    What kind of bread/bun did you use?

    I love your blog. And I love the princess dishes. I need some of those. But then I'd have to share them with Maddy. Hmph. Kids.

    1. I love those damn plates!!! I used Portuguese rolls. I love that they can hold up to a juicy sandwich!!!

  3. YUMMY! I will make these next week!

  4. Looks great! My husband and I eat after the girls are down, too. I feel guilty about it but it just doesn't work out for his work schedule, either.