Grills Gone Wild: Mushroom Edition

Pairs well with:


Bright and full-bodied, this Zinfandel wine is a curious contradiction in tastes.


1 1/4 lbs. cremimi mushrooms
1 1/4 lbs Portobello mushrooms
1 1/4 lbs. large shitake mushrooms
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tsp fine sea salt, plus more for seasoning on the grill
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper plus more for seasoning on the grill
30 green onions or scallions
12 ounces thinly sliced pancetta
1/4 cup balsamic reduction or \\
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 Tablespoons minced fresh thyme
1 tsp. fine sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
5 Tbsp. minced fresh thyme
1 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 lbs. boneless prime rib eye steak, ground by butcher (\\
1 lb. ground chuck (80% lean, 20 % fat)
1 cup prepared mayonnaise (Hellmann or Best)
1/2 cup Heinz Chili Sauce
1 cup oil packed sun-dried tomatoes, well drained of excess oil
1/3 cup whole roasted garlic cloves (Christopher Ranch brand)
6 large challa or brioche hamburger rolls ( 5 1/2 to 6 inches in diameter)
high heat olive or canola oil spray (aerosol oil made for high heat grilling)
12 ounces sliced Swiss Gruyere cheese



STEP #1. For the Grilled Mushrooms and Green Onions: Preheat the grill to high heat. Make sure the grill is clean. Lightly wash and thoroughly dry all of the mushrooms. Trim the stems of the cremini mushrooms so they are even with the base of the cap. Remove the stems of the Portobello mushrooms and use a small spoon to scrape off the dark gills under the caps. Remove the stems of the shitake mushrooms. Place each type of mushroom into a separate mixing bowl. Add about 2-3 Tablespoons of the ½ cup extra virgin olive oil to each bowl of mushrooms and toss to coat the mushrooms thoroughly with the oil. Season each bowl of mushrooms with ½ tsp of the sea salt and ½ tsp of the freshly ground black pepper. Grill each type of mushroom separately: 3-4 minutes per side for the cremini (grill the creminis top/cap side down first), 4-5 minutes per side for the Portobello (grill the portobellos top/cap side down first), and 2-3 minutes per side for the shitake. Reseason the mushrooms with sea salt and black pepper on each side while they are on the grill. Remove the mushrooms from the grill as they are done to a large mixing bowl to cool slightly. While the mushrooms are cooling, grill the green onions: Place the green onions on the hottest part of the grill (no oil and no salt or pepper) in one layer and cook for about 1-2 minutes per side. Or until charred and just wilted.
STEP #2. For the Crispy Pancetta: Place a large cast iron skillet onto the hottest part of the grill and place the pancetta into the pan (while it heats up) in one layer. You may have to cook the pancetta in 2-3 batches depending on the size of your pan. Remove the pancetta as it is done (it should be golden brown, crispy and delicious!) to a paper towel lined plate.
STEP #3. For the Grilled Mushroom Salad: When the mushrooms are cool enough to handle, use your chef’s knife to thinly slice them, cutting any mushrooms that are larger than 1 ½ to 2 inches in half or into thirds before slicing. Place the sliced mushrooms into a large mixing bowl and toss to evenly combine the three different kinds of mushrooms. Measure 2 cups (firmly packed) of the sliced mushrooms and set them aside (this portion will go into the burgers). Finely chop the grilled green onions. Measure out ¾ cup (firmly packed) of the chopped grilled green onions and set them aside (this portion will go into the burgers). Add the remaining chopped grilled green onions to the sliced mushrooms. Add the balsamic reduction (“glaze”), extra virgin olive oil, fresh thyme, salt and pepper to the sliced mushrooms and green onions and toss to combine thoroughly. Set aside at room temperature until ready to serve (the mushroom salad can sit at room temperature for up to 2 hours).
STEP #4. For the Burgers: Place the reserved 2 cups of sliced grilled mushrooms into the food processor and pulse until very finely chopped. Place the finely chopped mushrooms into a large mixing bowl and add the reserved ¾ cup chopped green onions. Add the fresh thyme, salt and pepper and use a spoon or spatula to thoroughly and evenly combine the mushrooms, onions and seasonings. Lightly crumble the ground rib eye and ground chuck over the mushrooms, onions and seasoning in the bowl. Toss the meat and vegetables lightly (as you would a salad) until everything is evenly distributed. Use your hands to lightly but thoroughly combine the meats, mushrooms and onions, being careful not to overwork the meat.
STEP #5. For the Sun-dried Tomato Sauce: Combine the mayonnaise, chili sauce, sun-dried tomatoes and roasted garlic cloves in a food processor and process until everything is finely chopped and evenly combined (stop processor and scrape down the sides of the work bowl at least once).
STEP #6. To Finish the Burgers: Make a “divot” or small receptacle in the inside of each top bun by gently removing a small portion of the bread from the cut side of each top bun (you are creating a sort of concave “shell” out of the top bun which will be filled with the Grilled Mushroom Salad after the buns are heated on the grill). Lightly spray the burgers on both sides with the olive oil spray. Cook/grill the burgers on the hot grill (high heat) for about 3-4 minutes per side for medium rare (cook 1-2 minutes more if you like your burgers more well done). Top each burger with 1/6 of the sliced Gruyere cheese when you turn them to cook on the second side. While the burgers cook, lightly spray the cut sides of the buns with the olive oil spray and grill (cut sides down) for about 1-2 minutes, or just until toasted and warm. Remove the toasted buns to individual plates or a serving platter. Spread 2 Tablespoons of the Sun-dried Tomato Sauce on to the cut sides of each top and each bottom bun (2 Tbsp on the top and 2 Tbsp. on the bottom). Fill the “receptacles” in the top buns with about 1/3 cup of the Grilled Mushroom Salad. Place 1/6 of the crispy pancetta onto each bottom bun. Place a cooked burger onto each pancetta topped bottom bun. Quickly flip the Mushroom Salad filled top buns onto the burgers and enjoy!!