Portobello Mushrooms: The Steak of the Vegetarian World?

We've all heard it a hundred times. "Portobello mushrooms- they're thick and meaty, just like a steak." Well, no, actually. They aren't steak. But they do have a texture and flavor that fits in nicely with sandwiches. And they can be marinated and grilled without falling apart (which can sometimes be tricky with tofu).

We've rounded up a few recipes that sub in portobellos where there might normally be meat. For the vegetarians out there... Do you use these burger-sized mushrooms as placeholders for beef? We're partial to a lot of mushrooms other than portobellos, to be honest- precisely because portobellos have a stronger flavor and a tougher texture. But that structure makes them adaptable to so many different recipes. There are portobello "fries," grilled kabobs with chunks of portobello, and more burger variations than we can count.

Here are a few vegetarian recipes that look good:
Mushroom Burgers, from Southern Living (above)
Portobello Mushroom-Blue Cheese Burgers with Lemon Aioli and Bitter Greens, from Emeril Lagasse
Portobello Mushrooms Stuffed with Parmesan Whipped Potatoes, from Bon Appétit
Portobello Mushroom Fajitas, from Cooking Light
Portobello Mushroom Club, from Whole Foods

What are your favorite uses for portobello mushrooms? Do you eat them like meat? Or are they just another vegetable?

Related: Good Question: Good Veggie Burgers?

(Image: Tina Cornett for Southern Living)

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