There go I with my lentil cravings. I got bored of having them in soups and salads and landed on the next best thing: a veggie burger. You’ll see later this patty has no lentils but that is because I had to change my mind over the lentil one because I didn’t have all the ingredients and going for this one now seemed the more sensible solution. Believe me, the others will be made sooner or later.
I think everyone should be very proud of me for actually willingly going to a store and buying white beans. I have grown up with that only one kind of bean, not knowing that there are a million others. These beans were prepared only in a few ways, all of which made me hate the taste of white beans (also, a staple at Christmas Eve – (don’t ask) – you can imagine how my Christmas Eves passed… thankfully I could stuff my face with brioche at the stroke of midnight….). Therefore I am now exploring and discovering that it is not the ingredient’s fault, it’s the recipe’s. Phew.
These could be made with or without the egg, and therefore be vegan, but knowing how pretty much 99% of the veggie patties I’ve seen (home-made not store-bought) break apart, I was keeping the egg. They are still very, very fragile but I didn’t know how to help them. More egg?! Flour?! They have enough starch in them as it is.
The recipe is again from the New York Times and the changes I made were using plain old button mushrooms instead of shiitake and lemon juice instead of lime juice. I am pretty sure they would go nicely since this recipe is supposed to have Asian flavours, but hey, there’s at least soy sauce and ginger in them. If you can splurge and get shiitake, go ahead. Lastly, the yield is insane. I made half the recipe and still managed to have six giant patties. They say for the full recipe to make four to six burgers. How massive are they??? I thought maybe why they fell apart, was because I made them too big and couldn’t handle them… but they’re not bigger than the palm of my hand… I did do my utmost best to measure out properly, but there is a large margin of error
They really are quite tasty and make a nice difference next to the usual beef burger… Not to mention that the feeling of guilt when having these is non-existent 🙂
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 ½ – 2 cups chopped button mushrooms
1 tsp chopped fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
½ of a medium sized red pepper, cubed
1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
½ cup chopped fresh arugula
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup white beans (I used canned beans; give them a rinse when drained from the can)
lemon juice, to taste
soy sauce, to taste
1. Heat a bit of oil in a pan and fry up the mushrooms (I remember Julie Powell quoting Julia Child in “Julie & Julia”: “Never crowd the mushrooms or they won’t brown” every time I make mushrooms. Unless you’re going to present the mushrooms by themselves, there is no need to be fancy; throw them all in!) until they soften and get rid some of their juices. Add ginger, garlic and a bit of salt (I went easy on the salt because I wanted to flavour them using soy sauce, you can throw in a drop or two, won’t hurt).
2. Remove from the heat and stir in the cooked quinoa. Stir in the red pepper, cilantro and arugula.
3. In a food processor, using the steel blade purée the white beans with the lemon juice and the egg. Blend until you get a smooth paste.
4. Turn the oven on 200C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
5. Incorporate the beans with the mushroom mixture. Season with soy sauce and pepper. (you will see that the mixture is very wet and I was worried how will I form patties, but oh well..)
6. Heat up some oil in a frying pan and start forming the patties. I literally had to kind of side drop them in the pan cause they were very wet and falling apart. It felt ridiculous but there was no other way. Leave them to cook on a medium temperature for maybe 5 minutes. It will be easier to take them out of the pan with a spatula once they’ve browned on the bottom.
7. Carefully remove them with a spatula and flip them over on the baking sheet. Once you filled your baking sheet, transfer them to the oven, until the top had browned a bit more and they seem to fall apart a bit less now. I think at least 10 minutes.
There you have it folks. I had this with some salad, malidzano and olive bread and I was a happy camper. Have them for the next BBQ and not only will your vegetarian friends be happy, but probably someone else too who would be interested in going lighter on the meat!