Thursday, August 28, 2008

Gorgonzola Mushroom Burgers

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, a few of my co-workers recently left the company.  Anytime someone leaves, a group of us will go out for a goodbye lunch.  This time, when Ronnie left, instead of going out to eat, we all drove out to Evan's house and barbecued for lunch.  Like most goodbye lunches, this one ran a bit long, but unlike the others, we spent very little.  I must add it was darn tasty too.  I just love grilled foods!

We kept it pretty simple - hamburgers with the optional condiments, onion, and tomato, a flat-iron steak (pre-marinated from Trader Joe's), and a spinach salad.

Evan made the spinach salad.  He is one of the healthiest eaters I know.  We talk about food at work a lot, as we appreciate many of the same foods, and I must admit I admire just how health conscious he is.

His salad was really simple - fresh spinach, thinly sliced tomato, thinly sliced onion, a splash of seasoned rice vinegar, splash of balsamic vinegar, sprinkle of salt, and olive oil.  That's it.  It was so simple, and yet so tasty.

Even tastier - putting the spinach salad onto my burger.  I'm not a mayo or mustard girl, I put barbecue sauce on my burgers (or ketchup if there is no barbecue sauce).  The dressing on the spinach went beautifully.  Small bites of the steak with a bite of salad was awesome too.

So a few days later, I decided to make burgers at home, and add a few things that I love - mushrooms & gorgonzola.  I used a few leaves of spinach from Evan's spinach salad as the lettuce, and put the whole thing on a whole wheat bun.  (I'm trying to eat more whole grain foods right now.)

I don't ask Bobby what he wants on his burger anymore, I usually just make a single for me and a double for him, assemble it the way I want and he eats it.  This time when he started into his burger, he said it was one of the best burgers he's ever had.  He's asked for it a few times since.

Gorgonzola Mushroom Burgers with Spinach Salad

burger patties and buns of your choice
barbecue sauce
1 spoonful of cumbled gorgonzola per patty
1 slice of provolone per patty
2-3 medium crimini mushrooms per burger, sliced
1/4 small white onion per burger, cut into strips (I like them kinda chunky)
handful of washed fresh spinach per person
1/2 medium tomato per person
seasoned rice vinegar
balsamic vinegar
olive oil
sea salt or course salt & pepper

Grilled your patties, and when appropriate top with the crumbled gorgonzola and one slice of provolone.  While those were grilling, cook the mushroom/onion mixture and make salad.

In a pan over medium-high heat, swirl canola oil, add sliced crimini mushrooms and white onions, salt and pepper.  Cook until soft.

While the burgers are grilling and the mushroom/onion mixture is softening, make your salad.  Put the washed spinach and sliced tomato in an oversized bowl so you can toss easily.  Toss the spinach and tomato as you dress it.  Splash with each vinegar (probably about 2 tsp. of each per person), sprinkle with salt, and drizzle with olive oil (probably about 3-4 tsp.) per person.  You've added enough olive oil when it doesn't smell too vinegary for you.

As the patties finish, toast your buns.  Pull a few leaves of the spinach, and some of the sliced tomatoes from the salad and put on your bottom bun.  Add on your patty, a healthy scoop of the mushroom/onion mixture, add a dollop of barbecue sauce to your top bun and you are done.

Divide the remaining spinach salad among the plates, and don't worry if you have extra mushroom/onion mixture, it's good by itself on the side.  Or on top of the salad.

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