Veggie burgers are curious critters. Why would I want to eat something (a veggie burger) that is filling in for something that I don’t want to eat (a beef burger)? For me at least, vegetarian proximities of meat dishes seem a bit weird–it’s an emotional issue, I confess, but it is what it is.
But then I had a brainstorm, a detour of sorts around my little veggie burger food neurosis. Don’t think of it as a veggie burger, consider it a bean cake or a seed slab or a vegetable round. I know it’s just a matter of linguistics, but sometimes that’s all it takes.
Anyway. With my new found loophole for veggie burgers I have been looking at store-bought options and trying out different recipes. I am sure there are delicious brands to buy, but many of them have superfluous ingredients and seem pretty processed. (If you have a favorite store-bought brand, please share in the comment field!) I started playing around with different combinations in my kitchen, shooting for a version that didn’t use egg as a binder in order to keep it vegan. I came up with this version, and I think it’s love–just don’t call it a veggie burger…
4 tablespoon ground flaxseeds
12 tablespoons water (or vegetable stock)
2 1/2 cups canned garbanzos, drained and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh herbs (cilantro, basil, dill, etc)
1 onion, chopped
1 small orange, grated zest only
1 cup greens, finely chopped (spinach, dandelion, arugula, etc)
1 cup toasted bread crumbs (whole-grain)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1. Mix the flaxseeds with water or stock until gelatinous. (If you have whole flaxseeds, use this method.)
2. Combine garbanzo beans, flaxseed mix, salt and pepper in a food processor and process until mixture is thick and creamy, but still a little chunky.
3. Pour into a bowl and stir in herbs, onion, zest, and greens. Gently stir in the breadcrumbs and let mix sit for a few minutes. You should have an easy to handle mix that can be formed into 1-inch thick patties–if it feels too dry add a little water, or if too moist add some more bread crumbs.
4. To cook on the stove use a heavy skillet and heat oil over medium heat. Cook patties, covered, for about 7 minutes or until bottoms begin to brown, flip and cook for another 7 minutes.
5. To cook on the grill, rub both sides of patties with olive oil and cook for 4 minutes per side.