Grilled Mushroom Burgers with Fennel Slaw + Roasted Tomato Salsa

Grilled mushrooms burgers with thyme and lemon, topped with a roasted tomato salsa and a crunchy fennel slaw. Vegan. Serves 4.

We’ve had a few of Matt’s buddies staying with us this week, mountain biking, bbq’ing and just being boys. The floors have been pretty muddy, and the fridge is looking sparse but I really don’t mind. The house feels full, the dishes get done and one of my favorite sounds in this whole world is hearing Matt laughing outside on the balcony, just being himself with his friends. We never really got to do the whole dating thing, Matt and I. We met, there was a spark and then all of a sudden we fell into long distance. So in the moments when I get to see him as a friend, a brother or a son, I feel like I am getting to know him a little more each time. He is, without a doubt, the most interesting story I will ever read.

These past few weeks have been a little heavy on the financial side for both of us. And although we are both putting in long hours, it sometimes feels like there will just never be enough. I let it get to me a bit more than Matt some days, and other days he is the one to feel the weight. But we seem to balance each other out, to remind ourselves that it is not important and that the bills will get paid. The mountains are always the best cure for busy head. It’s the best way to remind yourself that having a body that is healthy and alive is something to be celebrated everyday, and that everything else will work out in the end. I guess the most important things in life really are not things, but are our hearts and who they beat for.

Burgers, however, are a different story, one that needs no introduction. All things good piled high between two toasty wholegrain buns, it’s a summer favorite à la happy hearted today, guys. Tis the season of wild mushrooms around here, so here is a funky idea for all you foragers out there. Get out.  Enjoy the sun. Make a burger. A story to know and love.

Grilled mushrooms burgers with thyme and lemon, topped with a roasted tomato salsa and a crunchy fennel slaw. Vegan. Serves 4.


All 3 of these components are good on their own, but oh boy are they a triple threat together! The salsa might be my favorite, although please don’t make me choose. Summer is not summer until you’ve had a burger, so get grilling guys!

Vegan. Serves 4. 



4-8 large mushrooms, portobello or any other large cap brown mushroom will do
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
Salt + fresh black pepper to taste


2 large red tomatoes, halved
1 red onion, quartered
1 small red chili, seeds removed
2 cloves garlic
Salt + fresh black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil



2 cups thinly shaved fennel, fronds reserved
1/2 cup packed fresh parsley and cilantro
1 spring onion, white and green parts, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon fennel seeds (optional)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
1 teaspoon brown rice syrup
Salt and fresh black pepper to taste

Wholegrain rolls, or salad, to serve.


Preheat your broiler to make the salsa. Roughly half the tomatoes, peel and quarter the red onion, chop the deseeded chili into large chunks, peel and smash the garlic cloves and place everything into a large baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Place under the hot broiler for 8-15 minutes (depending on the strength of your broiler) until everything is browning and bubbling and the tomatoes have softened. Remove and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, make the slaw. Thinly slice a few small bulbs of fennel (remove the tough core for larger bulbs). Place in a bowl with chopped parsley, cilantro, spring onion and fennel seeds. In a small bowl whisk together olive oil, lemon juice and brown rice syrup until well combined and then pour over the slaw. Season well with salt and pepper.

Once the salsa ingredients have cooled slightly, remove the tomatoes from the pan and place on a cutting board, then scoop the rest of the ingredients into a small blender and pulse to combine just slightly. Chop the tomatoes roughly and combine everything in a bowl. (You can make this as chunky or as smooth as you like here, but I found this method to be my favorite texture).

Preheat your bbq or grill pan. Clean the mushrooms with a damp tea towel to remove any dirt and cut off the stems. Whisk the oil, lemon juice, fresh thyme leaves and salt and pepper in a bowl. Brush the caps of the mushrooms with the thyme marinade and place brushed side down on the grill. Cook on high for 5 minutes, brushing the mushrooms with more marinade as they cook, then flip and grill for another 5 minutes. The mushrooms should be soft and juicy. Remove from pan and set aside.

Lastly, if using, slice 4 wholegrain rolls in half, brush with olive oil and place cut side down on the grill to toast. Once golden bring to the table with the mushrooms, salsa and slaw and dig in!

Let me in on your kitchen creations – tag your photos #happyheartedkitchen and share the love!


  • Reply
    shelley ludman
    August 20, 2014 at 11:39 am

    the heart swells…this is truly beautiful jode xx

  • Reply
    Thalia @ butter and brioche
    August 22, 2014 at 2:29 am

    how delicious do those mushroom burgers look! definitely craving one right now…

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