I love veggie burgers, but not the standard frozen fare. I'm a snob and I like mine homemade. My mom makes a fabulous one which I crave whenever I'm home. It requires a lot of prep with different steps, combining lentils, rice, and a few other things together. I'll venture there someday but for now I want something easier to satisfy me at home.
I'm a fan of Heidi Swanson at 101 Cookbooks, and she has two veggie burgers on my wish list. I recently purchased her cookbook, which motivated me to finally give this one a try (for the other? stay tuned). Her book is full of intriguing recipes, not to mention fabulous food photography. I'm in envy of the gorgeous picture for this recipe.
I'm enamored of chickpeas; they have been a part of my diet since early childhood. They have a rich flavor unlike any other bean.
Canned chickpeas are great; I don't see the point in cooking dried ones. They have a skin that I always remove- even if they will be pureed. They have an unpleasant texture; it takes time but it's worth it.
The credit for this recipe is all Ms. Swanson's, but I have posted the version I made, including crumpet bread crumbs and a larger, entree-size burger.
Chickpea Veggie Burgers
adapted from Super Natural Cooking by Heidi Swanson
1 1/4 cups canned chickpeas, skins removed
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 small onion, chopped
grated zest from 1 lemon
1/2 cup sprouts (such as alfalfa or broccoli- I used a mixture)
1/2 cup toasted whole wheat bread crumbs (I used toasted ww crumpets!)
extra-virgin olive oil for cooking
In a food processor, blend chickpeas, eggs, and salt until a chunky mixture is formed. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add the cilantro, onion, lemon zest, and sprouts. Add the bread crumbs and stir to combine.
Set aside for 10 minutes to allow the bread crumbs to soak up some moisture (it will still be quite moist.) Form the mixture into 4 patties; any extra can be stored in the refrigerator in plastic wrap, to be cooked later.
Heat the oil over medium low heat in a large pan. Add desired number of burgers that fit and cook for about 7 minutes until the bottom turns golden brown. Flip and cook another 7 minutes or so. Remove from the pan, and carefully slice the burger in half. Fill with avocado and sliced tomato, and top with the other burger half.
My burger fell apart a bit during assembly, but I think it still looks great.
NH's burger looks the best; he requested a bun for more familiarity.
The filling of ripe avocado and heirloom tomato is delicious but the possibilities are endless for fillings. I had some additional sprouts to add but forgot them.
The burgers are delicious and I look forward to them again (I do have two additional patties in the fridge). I prefer and suggest eating them without a bun; I think the bread would detract from the flavors, which can easily be changed to satisfy other preferences. The cilantro can be swapped for basil, oregano, or even cumin and chili powder. I think a caprese version with basil, tomato, and a little mozzarella is in my future!