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How many times can one person screw up a veggie burger? I don’t want to talk about it. Although this time, instead of ending up with bean hummus sort of shaped like patties, I managed to salvage my burger concoction and ended up with something quite delicious. I just don’t know what my problem is…the first time I clearly screwed up the recipe. This time, I only sort of screwed up the instructions, but I’m skeptical that it would have worked in any instance. Don’t get me wrong, I love Mark Bittman’s book, How to Cook Everything. It’s a wonderful guide for a great many types of recipes, and I like that there are so many variations offered for each one. But there have been a few I’ve made that were just off. His proportions for hummus called for way too much tahini (in my opinion), making the hummus quite bitter. His olive oil salt bread was basically like a big biscuit, and for some reason, it didn’t brown at all. And his burger recipe, well, here’s how it all went down.

I started with his base.

2 c. cooked beans (I used kidney)
1 egg
1/2 c. rolled oats
1 onion, quartered (I only used 1/2 an onion)
1 T. chili powder & 1 T. cumin
1/2 c. mozzarella cheese
Salt & pepper

He also says you can add up to 1/2 c. vegetables. I had some canned artichoke hearts (about 3) that I threw in there just to use up, and I also added a small handful of parsley. It all went into the food processor. “Chop but do not puree,” said the instructions. I started the processor, and before I knew it, not only did I have a puree, but I had giant chunks of onion in my puree. This was not going well. I fished out the chunks of onion but I knew from my past disasterous experience that the texture was way, way too wet. I had even squeezed all the moisture out of the artichoke hearts before I threw them in there!

Panko. I immediately thought of panko. Thank you Japanese bread crumbs! I added probably 3/4 c. panko and voila! Burger consistency. I chilled the burger mixture before forming into patties, and then again after forming into patties and before cooking. It made 5 medium-sized patties. I cooked them with a little bit of olive oil in a pan, until they were nice and browned on each side. They were awesome on nice rolls, topped with mayo, mustard, tomatoes, pickles, and arugula! (I like toppings on my burgers). I served them with oven fries (the sweet potato / yam variety) which I just made by cutting yams cut into matchsticks, coating them with some oil, sprinkling with salt & pepper, and roasting at 400 degrees until browned and cooked completely, about 25 minutes.

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This time I managed to avert disaster, but the search for the perfect veggie burger recipe continues…