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Expanding the options when firing up the grill

Along with the smell of fresh-cut grass, the aroma of backyard barbecues is a sure-fire sign of the season. Victoria Day weekend having been the launch of the summer season, outdoor living is in full effect.

Firing up the BBQ comes with the territory – and who doesn’t enjoy a burger hot off the grill? Well, you might have a guest or two who’ll pass on the beef. In that case, having an alternative to serving up a bun and some condiments might be a good idea.

Luckily, some mushrooms, goat cheese and that local favourite, maple syrup, can come to the rescue. Oh, and some barley beyond what might be on ice in the cooler.

Portabella Barley Burgers

  • 3 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp.  minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. each salt and pepper
  • 4 Portabella mushroom caps
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme leaves
  • 1/2 cup dried breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups cooked barley
  • 3/4 cup shredded kale
  • 6 whole-wheat buns
  • 6 Tbsp. onion dip
  • 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 1-1/2 cups radish or alfalfa sprouts

In medium bowl, combine maple syrup, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper. Toss mushroom caps in marinade. Place on rimmed baking sheet. Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

Coarsely chop mushrooms. In food processor, combine mushrooms, eggs, thyme, breadcrumbs, flour and 1/2 cup of the barley. Pulse to combine. Texture should remain chunky. In medium bowl, combine mushroom mixture with remaining barley and kale. Shape into 6 burgers. Chill covered in refrigerator at least 1 hour. 

Place burgers on greased grill over medium heat. Grill, covered, for 5 to 6 minutes per side or until thermometer inserted sideways into centre of each burger reads 165°F (74°C).

Toast burger buns on grill. Spread each bun bottom with onion dip. Top with burger, cheese, sprouts and bun top. 

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