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Celebrating the Farmers Market: Portobello Burgers and Sweet Potato Fries

April 11, 2011

The Baltimore Farmers Market opened a month early this year!

The best.

Its also BIGGER, which is excellent. So I went this morning to check out the goods. While it is still a bit early in the season, there was a pretty great selection. I came home with a pound of spinach ($2), black bean salsa ($5), 6 lettuce plants ($3) and some Portobello mushroom caps ($5). Ok so I kind of splurged on the salsa, but I LOVE the salsa man’s salsa. Plus, I am hard pressed to argue with fresh, spicy, black bean salsa..Im going to have to avoid that area of the market if I want to stick to my usual (and totally doable) $10 budget for Sunday mornings.

On the lettuces: I started growing lettuce from seeds a few weeks ago and despite the seed pack guaranteeing an abundance of salad within 4-6 weeks, I am still watching the poor stringy plants struggle to beef up, so I decided to buy some larger plants to add to my crops in hopes that the little guys will take a hint and that maybe Ill actually be able to harvest lettuce before next winter.

^the sad lettuces…I replanted them a little deeper when I planted the bigger ones I bought today (pictures to come). Seriously though, come on little guys. growgrowgrowww.

AND I need to get in the habit of planning out what I want to get before I head to the market. Because I usually just go down there and wander around in awe, buying things that look really great. And then I get home and I have to figure out what to do with everything, and of course nothing I get goes with anything else. Like Portobello mushrooms. At least they are easy to figure out, because what else shall I do with them but make Portobello mushroom burgers?! PLUS I decided to make sweet potato fries to go along with them.


Portobello Mushroom Burgers: (serves 2)

2 Portobello mushrooms

4 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce

4 Tbsp Teriyaki Sauce

Pepper to taste

Red Pepper Flakes to taste


Remove the stems from the mushrooms/wash and place the caps in a plastic bag or Tupperware. Pour the rest of the ingredients over the mushrooms and make sure they’re coated. Marinate for at least 30 min (I marinated mine for a few hours).

Preheat oven to 400F, place caps round side down on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 8 minutes. Flip and bake for 5 more minutes. If you want to add cheese, add it for the last 2-3 minutes of baking time.

Assemble burger with toppings of choice. I used pepper jack cheese, ketchup, fresh spinach, tomato and onion. It was delicious.

Sweet Potato Fries: (serves 2)

1 large sweet potato

2Tbsp olive oil



cayenne pepper

garlic powder

red pepper flakes


Preheat oven to 400F. Chop sweet potato into desired size, I usually cube them, but you can also cut long strips. Place them on a cookie sheet and toss with olive oil and spices, I usually just eyeball the spices until I think I have enough on them. you can also vary the spices you use. Bake for 25-30 minutes. I usually broil them for another 3-4 minutes just to get them a little crispy.

Super great Sunday supper! I really miss grilled Portobello Burgers, but these are a close second! I also happen to be a really huge fan of sweet potato fries, I am glad I had one on hand, it was calling my name. The best part of both the  sweet potatoes and the mushrooms is that you can really use whatever spices and toppings strike your fancy. I have made the sweet potatos with cinnamon and salt, which is good. Also Old Bay, if you’re into that craze. The mushrooms are also pretty stellar with just some Worcestershire and olive oil. I did not have the foresight to get buns while I was manically buying vegetables today, so I went by Eddies and picked up some Onion Buns, which they source from a local Bakery. And they are marvelous.

Might I also add that I enjoyed this meal while watching The Ghost Writer, the most recent Polanski creation. It was a really great movie. The cinematography was extra surreal, and the plot was, of course, completely twisted. Of course, the semi-real (I think they are calling it “docu-fiction”) aspect of the plot was great. And well, here’s to good movies and good food at the end of a great Sunday.



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