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The Bounty Of Central Florida by Valerie Hart

Yield: 4 Servings


    • 1 cup red balsamic vinegar, aged 8 years or longer
    • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 large garlic clove, minced or grated
    • 1 tablespoon minced basil leaves
    • 8 medium size Portobello mushrooms, 3-inches in diameter
    • 1 green zucchini squash, approximately 2-inches in diameter
    • 2 large yellow crookneck squash, approximately 2-inches in diameter
    • 1 red, yellow, or green bell pepper, halved and seeded
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 8 slices soy (vegetarian) pepper jack or Cheddar cheese
    Optional: Thin sliced red onion

    • Italian white bread


1. Bring balsamic vinegar to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and boil gently until mixture thickens. (Approximately 10 minutes.) Set aside.

2. Combine oil, minced garlic and basil.

3. Remove stems from mushrooms. Wipe mushrooms clean with damp paper towels. Dry completely. Trim rough edges.

Slice zucchini and crookneck squash into rounds, approximately 1/4-inch thick. Cut bell pepper in half and remove seeds.

5. Brush squash with the oil mixture and grill or broil on both sides until browned. Brush Portobellos with the oil mixture and grill or broil on both sides. Grill or broil red pepper on both sides and cut into thin strips. Do not overcook vegetables or mushrooms.

6. Toast Italian bread slices on one side. Brush the untoasted side with the oil mixture. Set each on a plate and keep warm.

Turn four mushroom caps open side up on the bread. Sprinkle with salt and grind black pepper over. Stack grilled green squash slices on each. Set a slice of cheese over. Set grilled yellow squash on top. Set a few strips of pepper over. Repeat. Set a thin slice of onion over, if you like. Cover with remaining mushroom caps for an open "burger", or toast four more pieces of bread to top.

8. Drizzle remaining oil and balsamic vinegar syrup in irregular thin lines over.

Note: This giant burger can be cut into four sections to pick up. Otherwise, accompany it with a fork and knife.


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