I’m super excited right now. Over the past week, I purchased three new cookbooks. One offers a plethora of outstanding veggie burger recipes, such as the bean burger I’ll be sharing in this post, Armenian lentil burgers, Thai carrot burgers and mushroom burgers with barley. Needless to say, these aren’t regular old veggie burgers. They’re a step up and are rather gourmet, if I don’t say so myself. It’s my goal to share each and every one with you on this blog.
I purchased the next book from America’s Test Kitchen. It’s got over 700 vegetarian recipes in it, some of which I’ve already shared here. Some more interesting recipes are sweet chili glazed tofu, black rice salad with snap peas and ginger-sesame vinaigrette and mushroom lasagna. Since I received it, I’ve been taking a close look at this book and I must say that it’s outstanding. I love being introduced to so many creative ideas that look as appetizing as the Test Kitchen makes them look.
Finally, I purchased an artisan pasta making cookbook. Now, this one is really special. It basically teaches everything someone might need to know about pasta and then gives recipes for a wide variety of what’s possible. I’ll need to make my own sauces and fillings, but as far as the pasta goes, I think you’ll be entertained quite a bit. Think roasted red pepper pasta, asparagus pasta and red beet pasta. It you have no idea how to go about preparing something such as these examples, don’t worry because you will in a short while. Now, let’s get going with this post.
There’s been a long standing issue when it comes to making veggie burgers. That issue is that they fall apart while they’re being cooked. Trust me, I’ve made my fair share of veggie burgers and I’ve never had much luck. Every time I tried, I had a horrible experience and I asked myself, “How in the world do you make a veggie burger without it falling apart?” Well, it seems as though I found the answer because just yesterday, I made four of these little beauties and not one of them had any sort of an issue. You’ll see what I’m talking about when you look through the pictures below. They came out wonderfully and were quite tasty to boot.
A well made veggie burger is a step up from so many other types of burgers. They are extraordinarily versatile and can come in many different shapes and sizes. The first few recipes I’ll be sharing with you will have buns included, but these burgers can easily be put in pitas or wraps. And the fact that they’re made with vegetables, herbs and spices makes a huge difference when it comes to health. There is nothing to feel guilty about when eating the veggie burgers I’ll be sharing. Except perhaps the taste.
Have you ever eaten a burger that had shredded Parmesan cheese infused in it? Or perhaps parsley, Dijon mustard or lemon juice. Maybe you have and maybe you haven’t. In the recipe below, there are those ingredients plus a few more. As I was putting this one together, I was pleasantly surprised at the distinction between the ingredients that were necessary as binding agents and those that were there for texture and flavor. Many veggie burger recipes need to use eggs and breadcrumbs. These are the things that keep everything as one unit. The beans are an excellent protein and make up most of the bulk, but the mustard, acid and cheese are simply there for flavor. A rather nice flavor indeed.
I’d like to give a heartfelt thanks to Lukas Vulger for his outstanding cookbook called Veggie Burgers Every Which Way – Fresh, Flavorful & Healthy Vegan & Vegetarian Burgers. This was a nice find and I appreciate the effort it took to assemble such delicious looking recipes.
Makes: 4 Burgers
4 Burger Buns
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1 or 2 Large Slicing Tomatoes
Red Leaf Lettuce
1 1/2 Cups Canned Black Beans (1 15.5-Ounce Can)
2 Eggs, Beaten
1/2 Cup Finely Chopped Fresh Parsley
1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
2 Teaspoons Dijon Mustard
1/2 Teaspoon Regular Table Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
3/4 Cup Toasted Bread Crumbs
2 Tablespoons Regular Olive Oil
I decided on the lettuce and tomato combo for topping this recipe to keep things simple. If you prefer something else, by all means, use it. Also, as an additional topping, I simply drizzled some extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar on the inside of the buns for flavor. Again, if you like ketchup or mayo, go for it. Shake things up.
Pre-Heat the Oven
Go ahead and pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees.
Rinse the Beans
The very first task you want to complete is to rinse the beans well. The recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of cooked black beans and I found that the canned variety works well. They are already cooked and soft enough to mash together. I also found that one 15.5-ounce can of beans is just about the perfect amount.
After opening the can, pour the beans into a medium sized mesh strainer or sieve. Rinse the beans under running water, while shaking them around, for about 30 seconds. That should clean off all the juice from the can.
In a large bowl, mash the beans together using a potato masher. When they are almost completely broken down, add the 2 beaten eggs to the beans and mix well. This is what things should look like at this point:
Then, add the parsley, cheese, mustard, salt, pepper and lemon juice to the bowl and mix well.
Finally, add in the breadcrumbs and mix well into everything else. You may need to add a bit more if things are still too loose. What you are looking for is a consistency that would make a good meatball.
Shape the Patties & Cook
Divide the mixture into four equal parts. Then, shape each of the parts into a burger patty. Be sure not to go too thin. I believe each one of mine were about an inch thick.
After the patties are formed, warm a large skillet over medium heat. Add the 2 tablespoons of regular olive oil and when the skillet it to temperature, add the patties to it.
Allow each side of the burgers to cook for about 5 minutes or until there is a nice golden look to them.
After about 10 minutes, move the entire skillet into the warm oven and let roast for another 10 minutes. Before the 10 minutes is up and at the 8 minute mark, you can place the four sliced pieces of the buns inside the oven for a light toasting. When everything is finished, the burgers should be completely cooked through and ready to place on the buns.
Plate & Serve
On the inside of the bottom of the buns, I drizzled some extra-virgin olive oil. On the inside of the tops, I drizzled some balsamic vinegar. Then, I placed the patties on the bottom buns and on top of them, I placed some sliced tomato and then some red leaf lettuce. This combination was perfect.
The Final Burger
As you can see, there was absolutely no issue with the burger breaking apart. This was due to the proper ingredients being used as well as the cooking method. I used a cast iron skillet which the burgers didn’t stick to. You may want to use this type of pan if you have it. If you don’t, a non-stick skillet would be perfect. Also, the fact that these burgers were oven roasted helped out. They didn’t require much messing with. I’ll tell you though, even if there was some more flipping required, I don’t think there would have been an issue. They were very sturdy.
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