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A balsamic harissa grilled (broiled) portobello mushroom replaces the meat in this veggie burger. Roasted red pepper and delicious halloumi cheese complete the delicious combination and a squeeze of balsamic cream adds an ideal finishing touch.

These were so delicious. I ate both of them standing in front of the kitchen window, the minute I was done taking the photos. Ok, I might do that with everything I make, but I usually manage to save some for later. Not this time. And I’d already popped the rest of the portobellos in the slow cooker for something else, so I couldn’t make more for dinner, which is what I really really wanted.

Mushrooms and balsamic vinegar are kind of made for each other aren’t they? And garlic of course, that too pairs fantastically with mushrooms. Here I’ve used both. And some harissa went in the mix too. I brushed this concoction all over the portobellos and grilled (broiled) them, popping the halloumi on top after I turned them over. And that’s all the cooking that’s involved in this recipe. The rest is just putting the burger together, oh, and toasting the buns if you want. Mushroom, roasted red pepper, halloumi, balsamic. Can’t you taste it just by reading the words?


For the marinade

1 Tbs olive oil

1 Tbs balsamic vinegar (I used a version with honey but you can use plain)

1/4 tsp garlic paste

1/4 tsp harissa paste

1/4 tsp rosemary

1/8 tsp salt

For the burgers

2 burger buns

2 portobello mushrooms (about the size of the buns), stalks removed

1 large red pepper from a jar, halved

4 slices (about 90gr) halloumi cheese

balsamic cream to drizzle

Step 1

Preheat grill (broiler). Whisk the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic paste, harissa, rosemary and salt in a cup. Put a sheet of foil on the oven rack, pinch the corners in order to lift up the sides slightly (to create “walls” for the juices), place the mushrooms on the foil (top side up) and brush with nearly half the marinade. Put the rack on the second level (about 10cm from the top) and grill for 5 minutes.

Step 2

Take the mushrooms out, flip them, pour the rest of the marinade over them and top with the halloumi pieces. If you want, put the halved buns on the rack next to the foil. Return to the grill for another 5 minutes (flip the buns during this time), until the halloumi is nicely browned in a few spots.

Step 3

To assemble the burgers place a piece of red pepper on the bottom half of each bun, add the mushroom and halloumi, drizzle with balsamic cream and pop the top on. Serve warm.

Note: I didn’t feel anything was missing from the burger. If however you want something green, I would suggest a few baby spinach leaves or some chopped parsley. I wouldn’t use lettuce as I don’t think it would suit this burger.

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