Posts Tagged ‘Portabello’

Portabella and Halloumi "Burgers" from Food for My Family

Shaina Olmanson is the food writer, home cook and photographer behind Food for My Family and Olmanson Photography. This is her first recipe for the Mushroom Channel and we’re willing to cosign it as the one that could turn the meat-lovers in your house meatless…at least for one night a week.

I spent several years as a vegetarian, and it’s a lifestyle that still sings to me, calls me even.  Contrast that to my husband’s classic Midwestern meat-and-potatoes upbringing, sandwich them together and you’ll find us today where navigating the landscape of real food, and seeking to fuel our four children’s bodies with the best nutrition available, settled quite happily into omnivore status.

With an effort to change the way we think of food and the way we eat our food comes giving and taking, and sometimes it also means exploring those meatless meals for my husband, who loves vegetables but prefers to pair them with a side of meat (to help fill him up).  His dislike for meat-like products is strong, and he declares good vegetarian burgers to be something of a myth that is talked about but does not exist.  That is, he did until I changed the concept.

Rather than imitating meat, this meatless burger is a play on the whole sandwich with giant portabella mushroom caps as buns and a slice of grilled halloumi takes the place of the burger.  These were not only accepted, but devoured and raved about after dinner.  I may just turn the carnivore yet.

Portabella and Halloumi “Burgers”

  • 4 portabella mushroom caps with stems removed
  • 3 ½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 thin slices halloumi
  • 2 thick slices tomato
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • 1 handful basil leaves

Heat grill to medium-high heat (about 450 degrees).  Wash mushroom caps and cry.  In a shallow bowl, combine the balsamic vinegar and olive oil.  Place mushrooms gill side down in the mixture.

When the grill is hot, grill the mushrooms on the gill side first for about 5 minutes or until they start to sweat.  Flip and grill 2-3 minutes more.  Add halloumi to the grill and grill 2 minutes on each side over relatively high heat until grill marks form on the cheese and it becomes soft and pliable.  Sprinkle salt and pepper onto the tomato to taste.

Assemble the “burger” with the mushroom as the bun, the halloumi cheese as the burger, the lightly salted tomato and fresh basil leaves.  Wrap and serve hot.

Makes 2 servings.

Of note:

:: For a true vegetarian meal, find a vegetarian halloumi made with non-animal rennet.

:: Be sure to wrap these sandwiches before serving or plan to eat them with a knife and fork, as they are a bit slippery.

Kitchen Swap: Ingudai Tibs: Marinated Portobello Mushroom Sautéed with Red Onions, Garlic, Jalapeño Pepper, Fresh Tomato, Herbs and Spices

Ingudai Tibs- Mesob

Chefs Berekti and Akberet Mengistu are sisters and owners of Ethiopian restaurant Mesob in Montclair, New Jersey. The sisters came from Ethiopia in 1999 and opened Mesob together in 2003. We talked to the sister chefs about their delicious mushroom dish called ingudai tibs, a traditional Ethiopian dish.

“`Ingudai’ means mushrooms in Ethiopian and `tibs’ is the cooking method used in the dish,” said Chef Berekti.  For the many Ethiopians who are Orthodox Christian, a number of fasting days require them to avoid eating meat or dairy, which is why Ethiopian cuisine is full of so many amazing vegetarian dishes. Ingudai tibs is made with sautéed Portabella mushrooms, red onions, garlic, jalapeños, tomatoes and awaze sauce, which is made from spicy red peppers. This dish is served with bread called injera, which is used to scoop up mouthfuls of food.

Ingudai Tibs: Marinated Portobello Mushroom Sautéed with Red Onions, Garlic, Jalapeño Pepper, Fresh Tomato, Herbs and Spices

Chefs Berekti and Akberet Mengistu, Mesob Restaurant, Montclair, NJ


3                              large Portabella mushrooms

2                              cloves of garlic, minced

1 Tablespoon      fresh chopped parsley

¼                             red onion, chopped

¼                             large fresh tomato, chopped

As needed            olive oil

To taste                freshly ground black pepper and salt

To taste                jalapeno, chopped (Use 1 for medium to hot dish)

1 teaspoon         Awaze (Ethiopian chili paste)


  • Clean mushrooms and remove stems
  • Sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil
  • Add the sliced Portabellas and tomatoes, and sauté until Portabellas are tender
  • Add jalapeno and Awaze (Ethiopian chili paste) for medium to hot dish
  • Add black pepper and salt to taste
  • Garnish with parsley and serve with Injera.

Total preparation and cooking time: 7-10mins

Note about Injera:

Injera is large, crepe-like bread upon which a stew is served and with which one eats the stew served upon it.  One tears a small piece of injera, wraps it around a mouthful of stew, and consumes it!  Injera is made with teff, a tiny, round grain.

Teff is the most common cereal crop used to make injera.  It is a tiny, round, khaki-colored grain closely resembling millet.  Its scientific name is Eragrostis, teff.  “Teffa,” the Amharic word for “lost,” is so named because of Teff’s small size.  It’s the smallest grain in the world and often is lost in the harvesting and threshing process because of its size.  Three thousand grains of Teff weigh one gram.