Posts Tagged ‘veggie burger’

Even More Incredible Veggie Burgers and Buns

I love a good veggie burger and have posted about them frequently — whether it’s been cooking them or eating them — but until a couple of days ago, I hadn’t yet mastered the art of making buns. Well, everything changed with the help of a recipe I stumbled across in the New York Times. I had a good feeling about it since it was from one of my favorite LA restaurants, Comme Ca, and when I made these, I was not disappointed.

I could tell from when I started working with the dough that the buns would be light and airy, and as the dough rose, I got more and more excited.

burger buns

I also started preparing my veggie burgers. I modified the black bean burger recipe I’ve been using for a while to incorporate ingredients I had around, including squash and mushrooms, and I cooked the squash, mushrooms, onions and garlic before combining them with the black beans and making the patties to enhance the flavors.

Everything turned out really well, and I served the burgers with avocado, sauteed onions, lettuce, ketchup and mustard. I think I’ll be making these again soon (like possibly this weekend).

The completed veggie burger with cheese, lettuce, sauteed onions and avocado

The completed veggie burger

Black Bean Veggie Burgers on Homemade Buns

Black bean veggie burger on a homemade bun with corn on the side

Black bean veggie burger on a homemade bun with corn on the side

Last week I decided to try a new veggie burger recipe. I love the feta cheese burgers that I’ve been making for a few months, but I wanted to try something a bit healthier, with more veggies and fewer breadcrumbs. I did some recipe searching in my Burgers book and online, and I ended up finding a nice simple recipe on AllRecipes.com that incorporated a lot of ingredients I already had. I’ve posted my variation on it below.

I also decided to try making buns from a recipe I found in my burgers cookbook. I mixed together a pretty stiff flour with lots of yeast, and the buns got enormous. But when it was time to start baking, I again found that my pilot light was out, and I had to relight it and start preheating all over again. I guess I didn’t let the oven preheat long enough because I thought it was just a little cold (we only have a very approximate temperature knob, so I bought an oven thermometer). In any case, I turned up the oven a tad, put in the buns, and 30 minutes later, when it was time to take them out, I found out that the oven had gotten too hot.

Slightly cripsy buns cooling on the stove

Slightly crispy buns cooling on the stove

Nothing burned, and the buns did look pretty, with their shiny milk and egg wash, and their sesame seeds, but they were way too hard. We ate them, but I’d definitely need to be much more careful with the over if I make these again.

The veggie burgers, however, were delicious. The first time I made them, I served them with guacamole and cheddar cheese, the second time, I served them with hummus, ketchup, mustard and cheddar cheese — both were very tasty. The recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 (16 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 onion, cut into wedges
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin (I liked it a little lighter than this on the cumin)
  • 1 teaspoon Thai chili sauce or hot sauce (or more if you want it spicy)
  • 1/2 to 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs (the recipe only said .5, but I needed much more to make these firm)
  • Handful of fresh cilantro if you have it (also not in the original recipe)

Directions:

In the food processor, finely chop the garlic, onion and bell pepper. Mash up the black beans in a bowl with a fork, but don’t mash too much — you want this to be a bit chunky so the burgers have a good texture. Combine all these veggies in a bowl. Mix the spices with the egg, then combine with the vegetable mixture, then add bread crumbs until the mixture firms up and you can form patties. If you have time, place in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up more, and make 4-6 patties.

I didn’t have much luck cooking them on foil on the grill, like the recipe suggested, but they were perfect cooked in a pan with a bit of vegetable oil, for about 8 minutes on each side, or until firm on the outside. They reheated really well in the oven at 350-400 degrees.

cooking the veggie burgers in a pan

cooking the veggie burgers in a pan -- they turn nice and brown when done

The Vegetarian Feta Club Burger… mmmm

I’ve wanted to make veggie burgers for a long time now, and Evan even has a great-looking book that has a bunch of recipes, but I just hadn’t done it. But tonight we were having some friends over for dinner and veggie burgers seemed like the perfect Sunday-night meal. I pulled out Burgers by Paul Gayler and agonized over which of the delicious looking recipes to choose.

I settled on the Vegetarian Feta Club Burger, a relatively simple recipe. I also made some cilantro-avocado, slow-roasted tomatoes, olive mayo, baked fries and salad — it was quite a feast! I was surprised that making this veggie burger and all its trimmings was relatively simple and quick, and it turned out amazingly well. I couldn’t have wished for a tastier recipe. This might supplant Gourmet Burger Kitchen’s puy lentil burger as my new favorite veggie burger, though it’s so different, there’s plenty of room to love them both.

Here’s how to make it, adapted from Burgers

Ingredients for the burger

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 2 cups white bread crumbs
  • 3 tbsp chickpea flour (also called gram flour or garbanzo flour)
  • 1 egg

Garnishes

  • 2 hard boiled eggs, sliced
  • Arugula
  • 8 Slow-dried tomatoes (halve them and season with some sugar, thyme, salt, pepper and olive oil, then bake at 400 degrees until they’re very soft and flavorful)
  • Olive mayo (basic mayo with some garlic, chopped olives and capers)
  • Cilantro-avocado pesto (cilantro, garlic, avocado, parmesan cheese and olive oil blended together)
  • Rye or sourdough bread

Instructions

  1. Put all the burger ingredients in a bowl and blend together with your hands
  2. Refrigerate the mixture for at least 30 minutes
  3. Form 8 patties from the mixture
  4. Cook them in a nonstick pan with a small amount of vegetable oil for 3-4 minutes on each side
  5. Serve sandwiched on the bread with the mayo and arugula on below the burger and 2 tomatoes, a few slices of egg and the cilantro pesto above.

The book recommended doing a double-decker sandwich, like a club would normally be, but they were already so tall with just one layer, I left them as singles, and the single versions were more than enough food (though the boys did have seconds). Also, since the bread was pretty thin, we all ended up eating the burgers with forks and knives. A bun would have held up a bit better, I think.

I served an arugula, tomato and cucumber salad with a balsamic vinaigrette on the side, and also made some cheesy oven-baked fries on the side. To drink, we had a bottle of some very delicious Irony pinot noir, and I also made some fresh blood-orange, ginger and mint lemonade.

I also had my first mayo-making experience. The first batch didn’t turn out since I added the oil all at once, but on my second try I drizzled it in as I was whisking and added the additional ingredients (olives, capers and garlic) once it was nice a whipped up. It turned out really well. Even Evan and Brian, who don’t normally like mayo, enjoyed it on their burgers.

For dessert, Maryn baked an incredible batch of brownies from a recipe from Tartine bakery. They were wonderfully rich, moist and delicious. (You can check out more of her baking adventures on her blog, Le Cupcakerie.)

I can’t wait to try more of the delicious recipes from Burgers. They’re so far from basic ketchup, mustard and relish burgers that it’s quite refreshing, and the veggie burgers really stand on their own as complete meals rather than trying to be meat replacements. Maybe I’ll even try making my own ketchup next time…

Check out more photos of dinner in Evan’s Facebook gallery. (Thanks for taking photos, Ev. Much better than my iPhone pancake photos.)

You Have to Try This Veggie Burger

I’ve never been passionate about veggie burgers the same way people are passionate about their meaty counterparts. I eat them. Occasionally I enjoy them. But generally, I find them bland. The flavor is often all left up to how much cheese, ketchup or other kinds of sauces you can put on it to obscure its dry, chalky, barely-there taste. Or otherwise people try to get too fauxrganic, with sprouts and other things that really have no place on a proper burger.

Last night, though, everything changed. I was introduced to the puy lentil burger at GBK (Gourmet Burger Kitchen) in Soho. It sounded interesting and had a clearly Indian flair, though the restaurant’s description only said, “Puy lentils, potato, green curry, spring onion, salad & relish.” What I got was a piping hot (Mom, you’d love it!), large green patty on a perfectly toasted sesame seed bun, which absolutely blew me away. First, I could actually taste the veggie patty, and it was delicious, didn’t fall apart and had an even consistency. The curry flavor wasn’t overpowering, but it was distinct and worked wonderfully with the tomatoey relish it was topped off with.

I burned my mouth a bit, since it was so hot, but I just didn’t want to wait for it to cool down. I’m inspired to learn how to make my own veggie patties now. I just don’t see how I can ever eat a Garden Burger again, and especially not a Boca Burger. And I’m actually a bit enraged about all the poor quality veggie burgers I’ve been served in U.S. restaurants in the past. I feel cheated.

I’m sure the other vegetarian options are fine — there are a few portobello burger options, which I tend to find a bit boring or overly greasy at other places, and there’s a falafel option as well — and I probably will try them eventually, but this veggie burger alone is worth going back for.

Evan had an organic wild boar burger and said my veggie burger was better. We also had some fries, which were also super hot. And we had a mayo chili dipping sauce, which was good, though I hear their mayo garlic sauce is even better. And the ketchup came in cute tomato-shaped squeeze bottles that were on all the tables. Now, I can’t wait to go back.