Slideluck Lunchshow: Grilled Portobello Sandwiches & Kale Salad

Words by Natalie Croker

Photos by Daeha Ko, Jen Plaskowitz and Natalie Croker


Memorial Day has come and gone; what better reason to fire up the grill! On the menu: Grilled portobello sandwiches (failed burgers) and garden-grown kale salad.

Today, Jen, Slideluck producer, walked in the door with another green gift from her rooftop garden. No one, including Jen, was sure what the leafy green was exactly. For lunch purposes, it was classified as kale, although it was really more of a kale, mustard and dandelion green hybrid.

No matter which way you look at it, when married with avocado, toasted peanuts and an olive oil, fresh lemon juice and sea salt dressing, it was a damn good salad. Jen hunted the recipe down in our Slideluck recipe database and we have the Rockland Farm Alliance, New York, to thank for it.

To honor to the rare occasion of vegetarians outnumbering carnivores in the office today, we opted to make a marinated portobello burger to accompany the salad. While I volunteered to walk to Essex St. market in 97 degree heat, to get the outstanding ingredients (a decision I am still questioning), Jen and Slideluck newbie, Aija, made the marinade for the mushrooms. Crushing basil, parsley and garlic together with mortar and pestle, throwing in some olive oil, balsamic and S&P, the marinade was complete.

Attempting to source burger rolls from”>Pain D’Avignonat Essex St. market only to discover they were sold out could, be perceived as a disappointment, however, turns out I’m a huge fan of sourdough. A thick-sliced, long roll of white sourdough ended up as our more-than-adequate burger roll substitution.

Grabbing a few shiitakes on the way back to cook separately in a pan with butter and rosemary, the shopping was complete and I headed back to the office to avoid heat-stroke.

While the mushrooms soaked in the marinade, the kale salad was assembled and red peppers, avocado and tomato sliced up to accompany the portobello sandwiches.

The grill was fired up, the mushrooms were acceptably blackened and we happily ate the Portobello ‘burgers’ and ‘kale’ salad under the shade of the Slideluck deck. No meal on an almost 100 degree day, especially not a grilled one, could have been respectably consumed without a cold” Brooklyn Brewery Pilsner. Cheers!

Kale Salad

Rockland Farm Alliance

New York

1 Large bunch of Kale

1 Ripe Avocado

½ cup Roasted Pine Nuts or other seeds

½ Lemon or Lime, juiced

¼ cup Olive Oil or other oil

Sea Salt

Dry roast pine in a skillet

Wash, strip, and dry the kale, then tear into bite sized pieces

Put all of the kale into a big bowl , sprinkle with salt, and pour the lemon juice and oil over it

Massage the oil and juice into the kale, go deep!  Make the leaves become smooth and dark green

Cut or Squeeze the avocado into it and mix well

Top with the roasted nuts and enjoy!

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