5 Strategic Variations On The Portobello Mushroom Sandwich

Ha, made you click! Tell me that doesn't look like a sandwich you want to eat. It has the aethetics of a burger, takes caramelized onions like a burger and appears to be juicier than that tragic puck you received the last time you dared to order your burger medium-well. Have we taught you nothing? Having to order rare to receive medium-rare in this day and age...what has the world come to? But that's not a problem on Meatless Monday, when my unbridled enthusiasm is directed towards big 'shrooms.

I went out for dosas with my brother last night, and as you know, nearly all places serving dosas are vegetarian. Except my mom's old restaurant, because she knows kheema dosas are where it's at. See also: tandoori barbecue sauce. It being Sunday night, I realized I had a lunch column to write in the morning. I asked the recent University of Colorado-Boulder grad what his (assumed) many militant vegetarian friends had survived on, maybe even thrived on, and he immediately answered "portobello mushrooms, all the time."

Upon further consideration, I realized I'd never had a bad portobello mushroom experience in my life. Not in the guise of a burger, not as the main attraction in a sandwich and certainly not as part of a grilled vegetable lineup. They're basically pretty much awesome, so let's make some sandwiches:

1. Mellowed-Out Ode to the Shooter

With no actual Fat Ladies involved (whew), this sandwich is composed of a roasted portobello mushroom cap on top of a thin slab of steak with a smear of herb butter on thick sandwich bread. Thin steak because you won't be smashing it down for two hours, it's lunchtime, everyone's hungry and not everyone is observing Meatless Monday. Ooh, I just accidentally typed Metal-less Monday. That would suck for cooks.

2. Portobello Kiwi Burger

This burger just made all the vegetarian in the room lose their minds. Beets! (Bees?)

3. Grilled Mushroom and Tomatonaise

Make and use tomatonaise, people! Summer won't last forever. Yes it will.

4. Welsh Rarebit Portobello Sandwich

Beer and cheese sauce broiled onto a mushroom squished into a sandwich? Yes.

5. Portobellorito

Now that you know vegetarian burritos are awesome and how to roll one up, make it happen.

Thanks for the tip, crunchy vegetarian college grads!

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