Happy Father’s Day! How about giving your dad something he probably has never had? This raw, portobello mushroom burger is pretty hard to pass up and could end up being the best gift you could give someone…the gift of better health. Warning, this “burger” is addictive and can be a transformational experience! Keep in mind that in order to keep this in it’s raw state, it is actually dehydrated, and takes 3-4 hours to prepare. But the actual active time to prepare is short, maybe just 15 minutes. If this sounds too weird to you, keep an open mind, because the end result is a juicy, dense, flavorful burger that can stand up to any beef burger.
“raw” portobello burger with basil cashew cheese
Makes two vegan burgers
For the Burger:
2 portobello mushrooms, stems removed but left intact
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. organic tamari (can substitute liquid amines)
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Sea salt & pepper to taste
For the Cheese:
1 cup raw cashews (soaked in water for a couple hours)
¼ cup water
¼ cup nutritional yeast
2 tbsp. lemon juice
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp. dry sherry wine, marsala, or white wine (or substitute 1 tbs. cider vinegar)
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
Sea salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup fresh basil
First, get the mushrooms going. Preheat your oven to it’s lowest temperature (usually 170º F). Mix the olive oil, tamari, and lemon juice in a small bowl to make a marinade. Using a pastry brush, generously brush the bottoms of the mushrooms with the marinade. Set the mushrooms on a baking sheet and brush the remainder of the marinade into the tops of the mushrooms. It is okay if there is some extra juice from the marinade resting in the mushroom. The mushroom will absorb the flavors while it is sitting in the oven, so use up all the marinade. Place in the oven and process for about 3 hours. You will know it is ready when the mushroom is completely tender to the touch and moist all the way through.
While the mushroom is in the oven, make your cheese. Put all the ingredients except for the salt, pepper, and basil, in a food processor or high speed blender. I prefer a Cuisinart style processor when I make this kind of cheese. Blend until the mixture becomes a smooth consistency similar to cream cheese. It will take a while so don’t worry if it takes longer than a few minutes. You may need to add a little water to get it to blend to the right consistency, and you will also need to stop and scrape the sides of the bowl a couple times. Just as you think it is ready, add the fresh basil, salt and pepper (to taste) and pulse until it is all just blended. Place in the refrigerator to set up while the mushroom is processing in the oven.
When the mushrooms are ready, build your burger using your favorite healthy bun, flatbread, lettuce wrap, or you can even do something open faced using the mushroom as your base. I used fresh spinach from the garden, tomatoes, and some vegan mayo and a little Dijon. You can spread the cheese on the mushroom or the bun. Serve immediately.