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Sandwiches, Vegetarian

Portabello and Eggplant Burger With Goat Cheese

This vegetarian menu has proved extremely popular with my friends. All it needs is a loaf of crusty bread, a bottle of light red wine, butter cookies and some tart apples or fragrant pears. Read more

Total time: 25 minutes | Serves 4
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 8 portabello mushrooms, stems and gills trimmed
  • 4 (3/4-inch-thick) slices eggplant
  • Olive oil spray
  • Coarse salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 3/4 cup goat cheese
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 8 large basil leaves

Step 1Stand peppers on cutting board; cut off sides in 4 slabs, following natural contours as much as possible. Arrange on baking sheet lined with foil, skin side up. Broil on rack 6 inches from heat source until skin blackens, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove and wrap in foil lining. Set aside to steam 10 minutes, then slip off skins.

Step 2Spray both sides of mushrooms and eggplant with olive oil and generously sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put on 2 baking sheets lined with foil.

Step 3Bake mushrooms at 400 degrees 4 minutes, turn and bake 4 minutes more. Set aside. Bake eggplant slices at 400 degrees 6 minutes, turn and bake 6 minutes more. Trim eggplant slices to match size of mushrooms. Set aside. Reline 1 baking sheet with foil.

Step 4Assemble burgers in this order: 1 mushroom (cut-side up), 2 tablespoons goat cheese, onion, salt, pepper, eggplant, red pepper, onion, 2 tablespoons goat cheese, 2 basil leaves. Top with mushroom cap (cut-side down). Set on baking sheet and cover with foil. (Can be made several hours ahead and kept at room temperature.) Bake until warm, about 5 minutes.

Note: The gills of the portabello are unappealing and should be removed. Here's how: Place the mushroom cap on the cutting board, gill side up. Hold a sharp paring knife parallel to the board and insert it right under the gills, all the way to the center of the cap. Holding the blade steady, rotate the cap against the blade until the gills can be separated.
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