There is a school of culinary thought that practices minimally dressed burgers. I don’t belong to that school, I actively reject it.
If you don’t care about burger politics and just want the veggie burger, skip ahead to the recipe by clicking here.
To me, burgers are just a nicely charred, textured base for as many toppings as I can fit. I like a hefty slather of mayo to glue the burger to the bun, maybe with a bit of ketchup in there. On top I add an unstable stack of cheese, fried onions, pickles, lettuce, tomato, and mustard. I don’t need anything too out-of-the-box, as long as there’s a lot of it.
Since I view burgers as toppings-vehicles, a veggie burger works just as well as a beefy one for my purposes. So when my boyfriend suggested veggie burgers for dinner this week, I was in.
I started by referencing several of my most trusted resources, and wound up stuck between J. Kenji Lopez Alt.’s Really Awesome Black Bean Burger and the New York Times Cooking’s Ultimate Veggie Burger, which was in turn inspired by Kenji’s.
I was intrigued that they both started off with roasting some of the components to minimize mushiness. I was further intrigued by Kenji’s use of chipotle, and the NYT’s introduction of tamari almonds – of which we have heaps thanks to Brady’s parents’ regular Costco visits.
So, I haphazardly combined the two recipes into this monstrosity and was decently pleased with it.
The burgers grilled up nicely, although we probably could have left them on a bit longer to firm up even more. They were flavourful without tasting so identifiably of any one thing that it would compete with the toppings.
Some of the ingredients were lost or wasted in the mix – like the tamari almonds – so I might sub those out for cashews and a dash of soy sauce next time to save the good stuff for snacking.
Consider this a recipe in progress, if I make changes I’ll update the post. In the meantime, this made a completely satisfying and decently nutritious veggie burger.
My “million ingredient” title comes from the inclusion of literally one million ingredients. I may try for something simpler next time.
Also, it’s not vegan. But you’ll figure out for yourself.
Makes 6 hefty patties
½ lb mushrooms – about 10 regular, sliced
125 g tofu, cubed
1, 540 ml can kidney beans, drained
1 medium beet, grated
½ cup tamari almonds
125 g tempeh, crumbled
1 small shallot, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp mayo
1 chipotle pepper, pureed
2 tsp marmite
4 oz feta cheese
¾ cup panko bread crumbs
- Preheat your oven to 425°
- On one sheet, mix the mushrooms and tofu with some olive oil, salt, and pepper. One another sheet, mix the beets and kidney beans with some olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Roast in the oven for 15 minutes then remove the beets and kidney beans, roast the tofu and mushrooms for another 10 or 15 minutes. Rotate the pans once or twice. Cool all this to room temperature after. I stuck mine outside.
- Process the almonds a food processor until coarsly ground. Add the tempeh and pulse until chopped but fairly large chunks remain.
- Add the shallots, garlic, eggs, mayo, chipotle, marmite, feta, and panko to the processor and mix just to combine.
- Add in the cooled vegetables, tofu, and beans and pulse until coarsely ground.
- Put the mixture in the fridge for an hour or two, up to a day if you like.
- Form patties, oil the grill, and cook over a medium flame or in a pan until nicely blackened and firmed up. This could take anywhere from 6-10 minutes per side depending on how “medium” your flame is.
- I trust I don’t need to tell you how to garnish a burger.