A few weeks ago Robin and I ate at the relatively new Ojai Harvest restaurant in downtown Ojai. I had their Grain Bowl and Robin ordered the Veggie Burger made with a crispy breaded mushroom patty. She let me have a bite of her burger and when we got home I immediately began deconstructing it because it was that good.This is what I came up with. It may not be as tasty as the burger at Ojai Harvest, but I like it! I think you will too.
4 Portobello mushrooms (cleaned and gills removed)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
Grapeseed oil for frying (or vegetable oil)
4 brioche buns (sliced in half)
1 large ripe avocado
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
¼ teaspoon Sriracha sauce
½ cup Vegenaise (or mayonnaise)
4 thin slices red onion
4 slices heirloom tomato
½ cup blue cheese (crumbled)
4 to 8 leaves iceberg lettuce
Using three shallow bowls, set up a breading station of flour, milk and panko crumbs. Season the flour bowl with salt and pepper. Dredge each mushroom first in the flour, then the milk, and finally the panko crumbs.
Heat the grapeseed oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the mushroom patties on one side for 3 to 4 minutes. Turn them over and cook for another 3 minutes or until patties are crisp. Place the mushrooms on paper towels and set aside.
Drain the skillet and wipe out excess oil. Use the skillet to grill the buns, cut side down, until they are golden (not burned). Set buns aside.
In a small bowl, mash the avocado with the lime juice and Sriracha. Set this avocado spread aside.
Spread a little Vegenaise on both the top and the bottom of each bun. Spread a quarter of the avocado spread on the bottoms. Place a slice of onion on top of the avocado spread and then a slice of tomato on top of that. Carefully place the mushroom on top of the tomato. It will want to slide off but don’t let it! Sprinkle cheese on top of the mushroom, layer with lettuce, and place the tops on to complete the burgers.
Carefully slice in half and serve with a side of French fries or chips.