Al Dente: Mushroom Burgers

Trust me, the Squash is not done. That’s why it’s the icon for the column now. So when it is, I’ll know.


Anyway, welcome to Al Dente! Let’s make burgers! But not! Victor!

So here’s what we’ve got:



-Worcestercestercestershire Sauce

-Olive Oil

-Portobello Mushrooms

-An Ipad

-Some metal pans

-A counter top

-My excellent Shadowrun t-shirt

Those last four won’t be in the food. Not unless this goes really, really south.

Anyway, here’s the thing; burgers are great. They’re also, done right, simple, easy food that does not feel like an extremely competent and angry professional wrestler punching you repeatedly in the heart. The secret?

Don’t put crap in them. Seriously. A burger works best when it’s meat and, maybe, Lowrys burger salt.

Or a Mushroom.


Yes, that’s right. Mushroom burgers are excellent and ridiculously easy to make. Here’s what you do:Put goop in a plastic tub!


Specifically put:

-1/2 cup of olive oil

-1/3 cup cidar vinegar or if you don’t have it, red wine vinegar

-1/3 cup Worcestercestercestercestershire sauce

Then put the lid on and shake it like a polaroid picture.

Then get some kitchen paper and transfer it to a container that’s actually watertight.

Or do that first, you know, whichever works.

Mushroom time! Specifically Portobello mushrooms which are large and very easy to cut. Take the stem off them and then cut the caps, lengthways, once.

This may not go neatly. If so, and it bothers you, then consider this;

Are you on a cooking TV show where you will be marked for the appearance of your food?


Are you, somehow, the sole person left in the country who has their boss over for dinner?

If so, obviously you’re going to want to make sure everything looks as good as possible. Take your time, and, if you want to cheat, maybe don’t cut the mushrooms in half at all. The mushroom flesh soaks up the marinade like a sponge and is lovely and soft so it won’t be like you’re eating an angry pillow that’s really unhappy about it’s recent life choices or anything.

Also, if you are making dinner for your boss? Are…are you trapped in an episode of Terry and June? And if so, can we send help?

Anyway, once that’s done put the mushrooms in your airtight container, shake them, Harry Belafonte Jr style this time, and leave them to marinade for about an hour.

One hour later, do this.

There’s a tiny bit of butter in the pan as well as the oil but honestly that was pretty cosmetic. There’ll kick a lot of moisture out once heated so don’t worry about them sticking. Do worry about wanting to eat them out of the pan because they smell so good, because trust me that’s a real thing you’ll be tempted to do.

This is the other burger secret (Well, this and ‘Let the American make them. She’s much better at it’). Nothing fancy on the bun, just some cheddar, a little mustard and some tomato. Prepare this and if you’re feeling a little carb light, some oven chips, while the burgers are cooking. By the way, they take about five minutes a side on the geothermal vent that somehow got attached to our gas hob. So I’m thinking 6-8 minutes on non-bowels of the Earth-y cooking appliances should see you right.

And there you go. The mushrooms take on a lovely dark color which you’ll need to take a photo to admire because you’ll be so busy stuffing these things into your facehole. The marinade makes them tangy and tart, the bun cuts that neatly and the cheese and tomato taste great because they’re cheese and tomato, and always do. It’s quick, its really bloody tasty and its not a calorie apocalypse even with the chips. Because chips. Next time, apple pie bites! Without pie! Magic!



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