I’ve always believed that the true test of a good cook is if they can take an ingredient or dish they don’t like and turn it something they’d happily eat. This veggie burger recipe is inspired by the fact that I don’t like legumes (I find the texture reminiscent of plastic-wrapped sand) and generally find veggie burgers so bland they’re inedible without a ton of toppings and condiments. I decided to test myself and see if I could come up with a veggie burger using legumes and having few toppings that I would actually want to eat.
Luckily, I succeeded.
This veggie burger is my riff on the falafel burger recipes I see circulating online but unlike those recipes, I add sautéed mushrooms to give it a bit of meaty umami and I give an extra creaminess and pep to the recommended tzatziki spread topping. This is one of the few recipes on this blog where you will need a food processor, without one the texture of these burgers will be too chunky and uneven.
Here’s How You Do It
Difficulty Level: Medium
Total Prep and Cook time: 30 Minutes
1 – 19 oz/540 ml can of Chickpeas aka Garbanzo Beans – drained and rinsed
½ Cup of Chopped Onion
Juice of ½ a Lemon
Salt – to Taste
2 Teaspoons of Oregano
1 Cup of Breadcrumbs – I like panko, a Japanese style breadcrumb, but because you’re using this in a burger and not as breading, it doesn’t matter much
Vegetable Oil for Frying
1 Pack of Hamburger Buns
1 Pack of Mushrooms – Finely Chopped
1 Large Clove of Garlic, peeled and Chopped
1 Tablespoon of Red Wine or Balsamic Vinegar
Salt and Pepper – to taste
1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
Teaspoon of Butter
CREAMY YOGURT SPREAD
2 Tablespoons of Mayonnaise
4 Tablespoons of Greek Yogurt
1 Large Clove of Garlic, grated or finely chopped
1 Green Onion – Finely Chopped
Zest of 1 Lemon
Salt – to taste
Hot Sauce – to taste – You want something thick-ish like Sriracha. A sauce that’s too watery will mess with the spreadability
1 Food Processor
1 Rubber Spatula
1 Frying Pan
1 Regular Spatula
1 Mixing Bowl
1 Heat proof regular bowl
1 Plastic container
1 Knife and cutting board
2 Baking Sheets
1 Piece of Wax or Parchment Paper
Line a baking sheet with wax or parchment paper.
Dump the chickpeas, onion, oregano, lemon juice, breadcrumbs, and a little salt in the food processor. Pulse until finely ground but NOT paste-like.
Taste and adjust the salt to your liking, doing another quick pulse with the food processor to combine it.
Form into patties by squeezing the mixture firmly into discs with your hands. Tightly squeezing them together with your hands will allow the mix to hold together without any eggs.
Put each patty on the paper lined baking sheet and set aside.
Heat the Olive Oil and Butter in the frying pan on medium-high heat until melted and add the chopped garlic. The SECOND you smell the garlic, add the mushrooms and vinegar.
Stir the mushrooms around until they’ve shrunk and softened, about 5 or 10 minutes. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper.
Put the mushrooms in a heat proof bowl and set aside.
In the same frying pan used to cook the mushrooms, heat some oil on medium high heat and cook your patties for 5 to 7 minutes per side. It’s time to flip them when the edges turn dark brown. Don’t worry if they seem dark. The crunchy exterior will allow them to hold together.
Transfer to a paper towel lined plate.
Put each side of your buns face down on a baking sheet and stick them in the oven at 350 0F. The oven doesn’t have to be preheated for this. It’s just to toast the buns.
While the buns are toasting, get your spread ready by combining the garlic, mayonnaise, yogurt, lemon zest, salt, green onion and hot sauce in a plastic container or bowl and stir everything together to combine.
You can now assemble your burgers!
Put a patty on the bottom half of your bun, smear on some of the yogurt spread, and then top with some of the mushrooms. Smear the inside of the top half of the bun with a little more yogurt spread – this will keep the bun from going soft because of the moisture of the mushrooms.
Serve and Enjoy!
-Samantha R. Gold
Questions? Comments? Requests?
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