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Recipe Friday: My First Homemade Veggie Burger!

Posted on: March 11, 2011

(Assuming that falafel doesn’t count, which I’ve made several times. Recipe to come in forthcoming weeks, I promise!)

Three cheers for those frozen vegetarian patties to toss on the grill…. ??? I think most of them taste pretty good, but it’s nice to have a fresh non-meat option at a party, right? So, not too long ago, I tried my hand at homemade veggie burgers. I followed a recipe which used chopped portobello mushrooms as the main ingredient, with lentils and bread as binding agents (so, this burger contains some protein). I also varied the recipe by adding some goat cheese for tartness.

This recipe needs a food processor.

Portobello Burgers
from Vegetarian Planet

2/3 c dried lentils
6 oz portobello mushrooms
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 c minced onions
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
Fresh-ground black pepper to taste
5 slices stale or toasted sandwich bread
1/2 c chopped parsley
3-4 oz soft goat cheese (optional)

1. Bring 2 quarts water to a boil, and add the lentils. Simmer the lentils for 20-30 minutes or until they are tender. Drain the lentils, and let them cool.

2. Cut off the dirt-laden base of each mushroom stem, then chop the remainder of the stems and the caps fine.

3. Heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and add the onions. Cook them, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until they soften. Add the garlic, and cook 2 minutes more, stirring constantly. Add the chopped mushrooms and the cumin to the skillet, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season well with the salt and pepper, and take the pan off the heat.

4. Break the bread into pieces, and whirl them to crumbs in a food processor. Transfer two cups crumbs to a large bowl. Put the lentils into the processor, and run the machine in spurts until they are coarsely chopped and somewhat pasty. Add the chopped parsley and sauteed mushrooms and onions (and goat cheese, if using) to the bowl, and mix well with your hands or a sturdy spoon. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Add more bread crumbs if the mixture is too wet to form a patty. Chill the mixture from 1 hour to a week.

5. Form the burger mixture into four 4-inch patties. Heat the remaining oil in a large skillet (not non-stick) over medium heat. Pan-fry until the undersides are a deep golden brown, about 3 minutes. Flip the burgers, and cook them about 3 minutes more. Serve the burgers hot.

My verdict? The flavor is wonderful. But even compared to a standard veggie burger, the texture is soft (maybe because it’s made mostly of veggies) and it was a little off-putting. I’m going to try another veggie burger recipe soon, but next time, maybe one that’s more bean-based, so the burger has more substance.

Have any of you tried making veggie burgers? What’s your favorite recipe?

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2 Responses to "Recipe Friday: My First Homemade Veggie Burger!"

yummmmmmmmmmmmmm!

It was good! But, shall I say, the texture was what I envision steak tartare… I kept telling myself, “it’s NOT raw ground beef!” but that’s what I kept thinking. Gotta try something bean-oriented (and different from falafel, since I’ve done that dozens of times–successfully!)

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