I hosted my first great summer cookout the other day. It was impromptu, casual, full of laughs, and healthy. Just my style.
Usually I struggle with cookouts. It’s tough trying to find foods that please all of my picky friends while wanting to cook the healthy, interesting foods that I like. Usually we just end up with store bought burgers and veggie burgers, and homemade guacamole. Those are just about the only foods my friends are comfortable with. It’s one of my sincerest gripes with living in Ohio, limited palates. What I would do to once host a swanky, New York style, tapas dinner while we sit around our rooftop terrace drinking wine in heels discussing the worlds events. The notion makes me laugh really considering the conversation with my friends usually turns to farts, golf, and other assorted man-friendly topics.
Last weekend surprised me with a breath of fresh air though, in the form of Caitlyn and AJ. Good friends of mine who live a couple hours away but who were in town for the night. We invited them over for an impromptu cookout since our local baseball team was sold out and we had our hearts set on a night outside. I geared up for a traditional frozen-patty-sort-of-night but when we got to the grocery store, I was shocked! They were picking out vegetables to grill! And had ideas! And wanted to experiment! You don’t even know what a big deal this was for me. I couldn’t stop talking about it all night. AJ manned the grill and charred us up asparagus (which I call Asparagi for plural), peppers, eggplant, zucchini, and portobello burgers! I made a couple of dips, Caitlyn and I drank a bottle of pinot noir, and we casually cooked together under the twinkle lights of the deck. It was a lovely night.
So here’s a burger recipe inspired by our great cookout together!
Now I know that portobello burgers are no crazy new concept, but a good one is so very satisfying. I came up with a delicious, low-calorie topping for them in lieu of mayo and cheeses to keep them light. The potatoes that you see in the background there are Roasted Lemon-Dill Tiny Taters which I will post later this week! They are soft and buttery, and make a great accoutrement.
- 2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 Clove Garlic, minced
- 4 Portobello Caps
- 1 Tablespoon minced Fresh Basil
- 1/4 cup chopped Sun-Dried Tomatoes packed in Oil
- 1/2 cup chopped Fresh Tomatoes
- 1/4 teaspoon Flaked Sea Salt
- Crack of Fresh Black Pepper
- 4 Buns (Wheat, Artisan, or Gluten-Free)
- Arugula or other Leaf Lettuce
- Combine vinegar, oil and garlic and toss mushrooms in the mixture. Let sit while you prepare the topping.
- Combine basil, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
- Prepare grill or indoor grill pan to medium-high heat. Grill mushrooms 4-6 minutes on each side, depending on their thickness. Brush them with any remaining marinade. Sprinkle with additional salt and pepper if you'd like.
- Place grilled mushroom on bun and top with tomato topping and greens.