There are things you eat because they’re good for you and things you eat because they’re delicious.

Where the twain meet – at the blessed intersection of Good for You and Delicious – you’ll find this Portobello Burger with Pesto, Provolone and Roasted Red Peppers. A grilled portobello mushroom covered in melted provolone, topped with slices of roasted red pepper and arugula (or spinach, in my case), sandwiched in a grilled bun slathered with pesto mayonnaise. Or lightly spread with pesto mayo. Or just pesto.

I’m not here to judge you.

The point is, this meatless burger is meaty. And incredibly satisfying. The mushroom isn’t marinated, so it stays nice and firm, and the vegetables offer plenty of texture. Add the pesto mayonnaise to the mix, and the 10 minutes it takes to put this burger together may seem like 10 minutes too long.

Portobello Burgers with Pesto, Provolone and Roasted Peppers

Adapted from “Bon Appetit” (June 2009)

Serves 4

  • 1/2 cup purchased pesto
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 sourdough, whole grain, or ciabatta rolls, split horizontally
  • 4 portobello mushrooms, stemmed, dark gills scraped out
  • Olive oil
  • 4 slices provolone
  • Roasted red peppers from jar, drained
  • 4 cups arugula or spinach (about 2 ounces)
  1. Stir pesto and mayonnaise in small bowl to blend. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat your grill or grill pan to medium-high. Grill rolls, cut side down, until lightly toasted. Transfer to plates. Spread grilled side of rolls with pesto mayonnaise.
  3. Brush mushrooms on both sides with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill, rounded side up, 4 minutes. Turn mushrooms over. Cover and grill until mushrooms are tender, about 4 minutes. During the last minute of grilling, place the slices of provolone on top of each mushroom so they can melt. Place 1 mushroom on each roll bottom.
  4. Pat pepper slices with a paper towel to dry, and place enough to cover each mushroom. Add arugula. Press roll tops over and serve.