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He’s in the driver’s seat, I just tell us how to get there

It’s rare that I ask Joe what he’d like for dinner and he gives me an exact dish or recipe idea.  Normally, deciding what we want for dinner goes a little something like, “Do sandwiches sound good?” and he’s all “That could be good…does that sound good to you?” and I’m all “I’ll have a sandwich if that’s what YOU want.”

Today though, with the afternoon off from work, he had more time to consider his dinner options going into Labor Day Weekend 2008 (is it September ALREADY?).

“Portobello burgers,” I was told before heading off to the Ferry Building for a meeting, “Portobello burgers with collard greens and malt vinegar.”

“Collard greens, eh?  What if there are no collard greens?  Will some other kind of sauteed green suffice?”

He considered it for a moment.  “That works too.”

The end result looked a little something like this:

If it looks like this photo was taken hastily and without much thought, it was.  We were in the middle of eating, I’d already devoured half of it, and I realized I best take a photo while the gettin’ was good.

Details: Large hamburger buns from Acme.  Drizzled with olive oil, then grilled.  Grilled portobello caps, marinated in a mixture of balsamic vinegar, dijon, fresh oregano, olive oil, kosher salt and black pepper (adapted from a recipe created by my good friend, Cindy, for a “Pairings” column).  Burgers then garnished with slabs of feta cheese, thinly shaved sweet onion, sliced avocado, mesclun greens and heirloom tomato.  Served alongside beet greens quick-sauteed with a mixture of garlic and chili infused olive oil, lemon juice and a sprinkling of sugar to balance it all out.

Accompanied by a bottle of 2005 Domaine Serene “Evenstad Reserve” Pinot Noir, which was good enough to bathe in.

It was a perfect meal to close out the summer.  And I still have the beets leftover to roast; a reminder that fall is just around the corner.

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