Sunday, 1 May 2011

balsamic portobello mushroom burger with bocconcini cheese, fried egg, lettuce and tomato

Why, hello, handsome.

I know there are plenty of you out there who simply refuse to believe in vegetarian burgers. But just bear with me for a moment. As a huge mushroom enthusiast, I want to share my joy with you in regards to my unprecedented mushroom burger success this weekend.

Portobello mushrooms. Also known as portabella mushrooms or field mushrooms. And very delicious.

The burger I am about to introduce is a juicy, sexy ol' hunk of mushroomy goodness, dewy with a lush balsamic vinegar dressing that winks with the piquancy of crushed garlic, shallot and herbs. The bocconcini exudes a creamy self-assurance, while the fried egg brings a little attitude. And ever so reliably, lettuce, tomato and crusty bread brings the whole package together. Yes. Yes, I think I'm in love.

Portobello mushroom marinating in a tangy dressing made with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic and shallot.

balsamic portobello mushroom and bocconcini burger with fried egg, lettuce and tomato (makes 2)

2 large field/portobello mushrooms, stems trimmed
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 shallot, chopped
8 baby bocconcini or 2 regular bocconcini, thickly sliced (may be substituted with other melting cheese)
a few lettuce leaves (I used green oak lettuce; spinach or rocket/arugula will also work well)
a few tomato slices
sea salt, black pepper and dried or fresh herbs (e.g. parsley, thyme, etc.) to taste
2 eggs
4 slices of toasted crusty bread

- Combine garlic, shallot, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and a liberal pinch each of sea salt, black pepper and herbs in a mortar. Grind, pound and mix well with the pestle to create a marinade and brush or drizzle this mixture generously over the portobello mushrooms. Let it sit for 15 minutes.
- In a bowl, toss lettuce leaves and tomato together in any leftover marinade and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/360°F fan-forced (200°C/390°F conventional).
- Place the marinated portobello mushrooms gills side up in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes.
- While you wait for the mushrooms to cook, fry the eggs to your liking, keeping each one separate, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Scatter bocconcini slices on top of the mushrooms and bake for another 3 minutes or until the cheese is just melted. Retrieve mushrooms from oven.
- To assemble each burger, layer lettuce leaves, one mushroom (cheese side up), a slice or two of tomato, one fried egg and more lettuce on a piece of bread, and top off with another piece of bread.
- Enjoy with wild abandon, casting aside all unreasonable thoughts of maintaining any sense of decorum.

Bocconcini mushroom burger with fried egg, lettuce and tomato.


  1. great vegetarian burger, we at home are also semi-vegetarian, so this will be yummy for us.

  2. Superb for a super breakfast!

  3. Great looking vegetarian burger!

  4. Thanks Michelle! Yeah it really works as a breakfast burger. I had it for brunch. :D

    Thanks Ellie! :)

  5. The word "dewy" is simply not used enough in a food context :) Love mushrooms, but haven't roasted them for ages! Yours look glorious!

  6. It's such a lovely word isn't it? And thank you! They tasted glorious too. :D

  7. Wow these looks truly scrumptious! Love the large portobello you have there! Gorgeous and sooooo yummy~~~

  8. Thanks Min! Yeah - those mushrooms were so juicy and meaty! :D

  9. I'm hard-pressed to pass up a chance to make my black bean burgers because they're so good, but I had portobello sliders the other day and had forgotton how delicious they are, too. When I saw yours, I knew it was a sign. Can't wait to make these!

  10. That is one heck of a burger! It looks amazing!

  11. Wow, a burger with a giant mushroom in - my kind of burger! Looks delicious :) p.s. I have nothing against vegetarian burgers, sometimes they're yummier than their meat rivals!

  12. Thanks Stacy! I've got to try making a black bean burger sometime.

    Thanks Foodycat! :D

    Xinmei, so true - some meatless burgers can be really good!

  13. These look fantastic! Do you ever make your own vegie patties?

  14. It looks fabulous! I'll have to try this!

  15. Yum - I love portobello burgers too! An awesome alternative to a steak sandwich, I reckon. :-)

  16. Thanks Agnes! Veggie patties are on my to-do list. :)

    Thanks Maria. :)

    Cindy, it certainly is a nice change for an omnivore like me. :D

  17. leaf, your photos are so great. I just found myself licking my chops looking at the pictures. What camera are you using?

    p.s. I can imagine that would have been sock heaven. I'm currently wearing explorer socks, not pretty but certainly functional xx

  18. Thanks shu shu! I use a small point-and-shoot, a Canon S90. :)

  19. I like fried eggs but sometimes I find it messy to eat it in a burger..esp when the yolk is runny. :P

  20. So don't make it too runny. ;) I love fried eggs in burgers.

  21. I thought it must be a fancy SLR-type thing. You are obviously a genius.

    I think half the fun of a burger is to have the beetroot or eggy juices run down your arms.

  22. It's a really good one for a point-and-shoot though especially if you use the manual functions. I also crop and add a little brightness and contrast to the photos before putting them up, that helps a lot. And yeah, some foods are just meant to be messy! :D

  23. I've never eaten beef, so vegetarian burgers are wonderful to me. Especially portobello mushroom ones - and with an egg and bocconcini - yum!

  24. I love portobellos as a stand-in for beef burgers. And that fried egg is truly the crowning touch that makes any burger that much more luscious.

  25. Why have I never thought of this? I think you're onto something here! I hate vegetarian food... but I love mushrooms.. so meat lovers like me would sooooo go for this dish!

  26. °º♫ Amiga,

    Bom domingo!
    Feliz Dia das mães!


    º° ✿♥ ♫° ·.

  27. Thank you for your great comments, Indie.Tea, Carolyn, msihua and Magia de Ines! :)

  28. Now THAT is a burger!!!
    - Brittany

  29. Thanks Brittany! Hurrah for mushrooms! :D

  30. Ok, seriously. SERIOUSLY. I did a half-open-face kind of thing with this and it was the best lunch I think I've ever made. It is TRANSCENDENT - Thank You!!

  31. Wow... that may be the best compliment I've ever got! So happy you loved it - and thank you so much for letting me know!!

  32. I didn't realize how starving I was until I started reading your blog. Delicious recipes!



  33. Now *that* is what I'm talking about! Looks like an awesome 'bello burger.

  34. Yummeeee! I'm gonna try this tonight. How long must the 'shrooms marinate?

  35. Hi Zenzi! I'd say 15 minutes would be sufficient - I'll add that to my instructions, actually, thanks. I hope it goes well for you!

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