The portabello mushroom is the more mature brother of the cremini mushroom, and it offers a large cap that can grow to about six inches in diameter. They have a meaty flavor and hearty consistency, making them the perfect burger patty alternative. There’s nothing wrong with burgers (we adore them,) but it’s nice to have a lighter option when you want to fire up the grill every spring and summer evening. The marinade of balsamic, olive oil, salt and pepper gives the mushrooms a slight tang, and the grill-roasted red pepper makes you feel like you’re in the Mediterranean.
That said, one of the best components of this sandwich is the herbed mayonnaise. (For more ways to dress up your mayo, read our post about How to Make Flavored Mayonnaise.) If your herb garden is already bustling, the mayo can be made with fresh herbs. If not, you can infuse the mayo with the dried herbs and let it rest before using – the flavors really develop after about an hour. The spread is good on other sandwiches or makes a great addition to your potato salad recipe. While the sandwich is great on white rolls, we all liked it best with big toasted whole wheat buns. So go ahead and give your grill menu a little variety. You’ll love these Mediterranean inspired burger replacements.
Grilled Portabello and Peppers Sandwich
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
4 portabella mushrooms, stems removed
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 red bell pepper, halved, seeded
4 Kaiser rolls, cut in half lengthwise
4 slices provolone cheese
Fresh spinach leaves
Stir balsamic vinegar, oil and garlic in a small bowl. Place mushrooms in a glass baking dish; drizzle with vinegar mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 3 hours or overnight.
Preheat grill to MEDIUM heat or GRILL ZONE (ORANGE).
Grill mushrooms and peppers covered, 6 to 8 minutes on each side until cooked through and peppers are slightly charred. Place rolls cut side down on grill 1 to 2 minutes until toasted.
Stir mayonnaise, basil, oregano and black pepper in a small bowl; spread 1 Tablespoon on bottom half of rolls. Top each with cheese, red pepper, mushroom, spinach and top half of roll.
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Mayonnaise is not just a popular sandwich spread, it’s also a base for many dips, spreads and sauces. It’s easy to make a customized mayo for a burger or sandwich or to serve as a special dip with french fries. All you need to do is mix your mayonnaise with whatever additions you like in a bowl, food processor or single-serve blender. A food processor or blender is great for adding herbs or other coarse ingredients that will benefit from a light chop.
Here are some of our favorite mayonnaise add-ins:
- Cilantro, parsley and lime (pictured)
- Chive and garlic
- Lemon and dill
- Rosemary and cracked black pepper
- Curry powder
- Lemon and capers
- Tarragon and mustard
- Cumin and chile powder
- Balsamic and basil
- Sun-dried tomatoes
- Jamaican jerk seasoning
What are your favorite mayonnaise combinations?