Garlic Scape Pesto and Portobello Burger for One

9 06 2011

One thing I (Steph) love about having a CSA share with Lancaster Farm Fresh Co Op is that I get to experiment with some unfamiliar vegetables! Well folks this week, I had these in my box:

They look a lot like scallions, which I’ve had in my box almost every week since the season started (I need suggestions for using them. Anyone?), but they’re not scallions.

They’re Garlic Scapes.

I remember seeing a bunch of recipes using scapes last season on Tastespotting, but I never purchased any at the farmer’s market. I wasn’t all that daring back then I guess! So, since I was “stuck” with them (not really, I was glad to see them in my box!), I did a little searching and decided that I would make pesto, which seems to be one of the most common uses for the scapes.

So, loosely following this recipe, I threw the scapes, walnuts, parmesean cheese, and olive oil into the blender and WHIRRED away!

I did a lot of taste testing along the way until I was satisfied with my pesto:

It was a beautiful shade of green and had a powerful, but not overly garlicly taste, and I knew it would be the perfect sauce for pasta or make a yummy spread for something!


I had been eyeing Jessica’s piled portobello gouda burger with roasted garlic for a few weeks now (doesn’t the name of it activate your salivatory glands?), so when I got these in my share last week:

I had big plans to replicate her recipe…but, as the wheels in my head started spinning, a ‘bello burger + pesto seemed to call my name…

Stephanie…make pesto with the scapes…Stephanie…it will be delicious on a portobello burger…Stephanie…pair it with goat cheese…Stephanie…roasted red peppers and balsamic onions would make a great topping…

So, the recipe started formulating in my head, and I got to work in the kitchen (Note: I don’t always hear voices telling me what to make).

SUCCESS! The voices guided me in the right direction! 🙂

When I was done assembling my burger, I moved my plate closer to the window in my living room, where the lighting is better for photography. I snapped a few shots, anxiously awaiting my first bite. After my last shot, I dug in. I couldn’t even wait to bring it back up to the counter! I sat on the floor and ate it right there in front of my picture taking station. Um yes. I did do that. It was that good.

It was probably a good thing that my boyfriend wasn’t around, because the pesto was GARLICKY! Hence, “burger for one” 🙂 But the flavors of the burger blended so well together! The creamy goat cheese softened the bite of the pesto, and the red pepper was a perfect complement. And the balsamic onions? Swoon. 🙂

Ok, maybe I did put a little too much goat cheese on it…but is there really such a thing as “too much goat cheese”?

I think I have a new favorite burger! And you know what else? I got some more ‘bellos in my box last night! SCORE!

Portobello Burger with Garlic Scape Pesto


Garlic Scape Pesto (see above)

Roasted Red Peppers (I used canned, but you can roast your own)

Goat Cheese

Portobello Mushroom Caps (however many you are making)

Small Red Onion

Balsamic Vinegar

Olive Oil

Salt + Pepper

How to:

Marinate the mushroom cap(s) in some balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper. I only marinated for 10-15 minutes.

While marinating, saute onions in some olive oil and balsamic vinegar over medium heat. I lowered the heat for a little to caramelize them some, before returning the heat back up to medium. I wanted them cooked through, but not too caramelized and mushy.  (Side note- I’m not an expert by any means when it comes to cooking onions)

When the onions are ready, remove them from the pan, and place the mushroom cap in. Cook for several minutes on each side, until heated through. While the ‘bello is cooking, toast an English muffin and pat dry a roasted red pepper.

When your mushroom is done, assemble the burger: Spread the pesto on one of the English muffin. Layer on a red pepper. Place the ‘bello on the other half of the English muffin. Add some goat cheese. Then the onions. Cover. Devour.

Note: You can make this for more than one easily; there’s plenty of pesto! Just make sure you have enough red pepper, goat cheese, and sauteed onions.

Question of the Day: What’s your favorite burger?