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A New Twist on Pesto

In my experience Pesto calls for Basil.

Not this recipe.

Kale is the leafy green.

Another easy recipe from Angela Liddon and the Oh She Glows cookbook.

Portobello Mushroom burger with Sun-dried tomato Kale Hemp Pesto!

I have been wanting a grill pan for a while and what better reason to get one than to grill some portobellos.

To get a good taste I marinated the Portobellos overnight.

The pesto took about 10 minutes to get smooth with scraping of the sides.

Toppings of kale, tomato and avocado make for a delicious burger for this vegan.

Tip: Get all the ingredients together first before you start prepping - it really does save time. It’s a French term Mise en place. It especially helps when you have 2 different recipes for one meal. See the photos.

Grilled Portobello burger with Sun-dried Tomato Kale-hemp Pesto

Serves 2, leftover pesto

Prep time - 15-20 minutes with 1 hour marinating (I marinated my portobellos overnight)

Cook time - 10 minutes

Gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free, sugar-fee, grain-free

Ingredients for Portobellos:

2 medium portobello mushrooms

2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

2 Tbsp + 1 ½ Tsp fresh lemon juice

2 Tbsp EVOO

1 clove garlic, minced - I used three

1 Tsp dried oregano

1 Tsp dried basil

¼ Tsp fine-grain sea salt - I used Himalyan

¼ Tsp freshly ground black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS - Portobellos

Remove the stems from the mushrooms by twisting the stem until it pops off. Discard the stem or save it for another use, such as a stir-fry. With a small spoon (thin), scrape out and discard the black gills. Rub the cap with a damp dish cloth to remove any debris. In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice, oil, garlic, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper. Add the portobello caps and toss to coat them in the marinade. Marinate the mushrooms for 30 to 60 minutes, tossing every 15 minutes. (You can also marinate them overnight, if desired.) Over the years I have learned the longer you marinate something the more flavor it has. So I marinated mine overnight!

Sun-Dried Tomato Kale-Hemp Pesto


1 clove garlic (I used 2)

1 cup lightly packed destemmed kale leaves

¼ cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes

¼ cup hemp seeds

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 Tbsp Olive Oil

¼ Tsp fine-grain sea salt (I use Himalyan)

2 Tbsp water


In a food processor, pulse the garlic until minced. Add the kale leaves, sun-dried tomatoes, hemp seeds, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and water and process until smooth, stopping and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. This took me about 10 minutes. I would process for about a minute then scrap the sides until it was smooth.

Lastly, grilling the Portobellos

I finally got a grill pan!!!

Preheat a grill pan or an outdoor grill over medium-high heat. Grill the portobello caps for 4 to 5 minutes per side, until light charred and tender.

Serve them up on a toasted bun or sliced up in a lettuce wrap topped with a generous amount of the pesto, and additional toppings of your choice.

Any leftover pesto will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for at least a week. It’s great on sandwiches, wrap, pasta and more!

Extra Toppings - Suggested

Caramelized onions

Avocado slides

Kale or lettuce leaves

Sliced tomatoes

Tips on Caramelized onions - thinly slice a sweet or yellow onion and saute it over medium heat in 1 Tbsp oil until golden and lightly browned, but not burned. It usually takes about 30 minutes to bring out the onions' natural sugars.

Use a gluten free bun to make this recipe gluten-free or slice the caps and put in lettuce wraps.

Taken from Liddon, A. (2015). Salads, Creamy Avocado-Potato Salad. In Oh She Glows. Penguin Books. Page 169-170

Thanks for reading

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