Monday, September 28, 2009

Say Cheese for a Naked Burger!

I saw Krista's Saturday post and had to laugh. I was going to post about a no-cook way of enjoying cheese (which I'll do next week), but I was experimenting in the kitchen and came up with an absolutely fabulous Naked Veggie Burger and had to share. This is not "comfort" food. This is pure natural goodness with goat cheese to boot!

Here's how it all started. I was shopping and I wanted to try an assortment of different cheeses on hamburgers and see what was my favorite. But I thought I should also have a veggie burger and bought a fabulous looking Portobello mushroom.

I love shallots baked in oil, so I purchased a cluster of shallots, some sweet red peppers, some pretty leafy lettuce to display it all on, and avocado. Let's face it, avocado, as far as I'm concerned, tastes good on anything. [That's a serving platter to the right. The Portobello was huge.]

Being a celiac, I decided to forgo a bun with this burger, hence the name Naked Burger.

Next, I roamed the deli counter and asked the cheese monger for his favorite goat cheese. He mentioned Cypress Grove Purple Haze, which I'd had once before on a cheese tasting plate and had loved. It has flavors of lavender and fennel and is nicely tart. So I bought it.

And here's what I came up with. A burst of flavors that turned out to be vegetarian, light, and yummy!

With Goat Cheese, Shallots and Peppers

(for one salad)

1 Portobello mushroom, stem removed
1 sweet red pepper, diced
1 tsp. chives, diced
1 oz. Purple Haze Goat Cheese
1 shallot, baked in 1 tsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. water
1 Tbsp. white wine
1 slice avocado
Leafy green lettuce
Chives for garnish


Roll the shallot in 1 tsp. olive oil and wrap in foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, sauté the Portobello mushroom in 1 Tbsp. olive oil, coating generously on both sides. Grill for 4 minutes. Add the water and white wine and deglaze, flipping the mushroom once during the process. Add 1 tsp. of snipped chives and the red pepper, diced. Cook 2 minutes longer.

Remove all from heat.

Prepare broiler. Set the Portobello mushroom on a baking sheet. Crumble the goat cheese on top. Broil for 4 minutes. Remove from broiler. Smooth the cheese on top using a knife. Broil 1-2 minutes longer.

Set leafy green lettuce on a plate. Add a slice of avocado and garnish with baked shallots, chives, and extra red pepper. Set the “naked burger” on the lettuce. Dust with paprika.

Serve warm.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I'm sure it could be served on a whole wheat bun. I served it with a malbec from Argentina called Arido. [Don't be fooled by the screw-top.] It's bursting with flavors of cherries and jam.
For more recipes and to learn more about The Cheese Shop Mystires, check out my website Avery Aames.
Say Cheese!


  1. Avery,

    I love Portobellos and so does the Hub. What a
    delicious way to serve one. A must try! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Oooh, Avery, this sounds fabulous. My veggie daughter is going to love this, I guarantee it. And I hear you about avocado - that's what I'm talking about tomorrow.

    This really, really sounds great. Thanks!

  3. Portobellos are my favorite thing. Oh...and white wine, too. :) This will have to be a must-try.

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  4. I like your go-naked idea! Loved your tale of figuring this recipe out, too, esp. asking the cheese monger for advice. So many people, right in the local grocery, have great food info and tips to share. I just had an interesting conversation with the lady in charge of the spice aisle. (I was in search of a certain kind of paprika.) She was curious as to why because in her experience Food Network chefs sometimes drive people to the stores for certain ingredients. Makes sense, but I never considered it before: Rachel, Paula, and Ina aren't just driving cookbook sales, they're influencing purchasing patterns in groceries! LOL!

    "Where coffee and crime are always brewing..."
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  5. We seldom cook cheese here in France. We have it plain, with bread and wine .. there are over 400 types of different cheeses in France and many more wines, so we never get tired of pairing them!

  6. To Laura in Paris - I'm with you. I was going to just do a simple cheese platter and then this idea came to me. I love cheese with wine, all by itself! 400 types of cheese. One for every day of the year!

  7. This sounds yummy. For the non-cook, do you take the mushroom out of the skillet before you deglaze? Most of my food is either raw or grilled (hate standing over a stove) and what sounds obvious to Divas sometimes confuses me.

    At least I'm not as bad as my brother-in-law who once called his mother to find out whether to cook the potatoes or mash them first.

    Nice product photos, too. You all do that very well.

  8. I myself like real cheeseburgers. My favorite is homemade pimento cheese on a nice grilled burger. The way the cheese melts all over the burger and the bun is delicious!

  9. Lyn, I left the portobellow in the pan as I deglazed. But it only takes 2 minutes so not a lot of time standing over a stove. 1 minute, flip, 1 minute. No watching in between.

    And Betsy, care to share that homemade pimento cheese recipe???

    Thanks, Avery

  10. I adore mushrooms of any type. Also, this brand of goat cheese sounds fantastic. I'm sure it adds a nice touch to the portobello.