It’s Friday, vegetarian daughter Sam is home and I made vegetarian burgers for her. The patties were made with mashed beans, toasted rolled oats, nuts, sesame seeds, chopped bell peppers, garlic, panko and egg. The seasonings were basic — sea salt, Himalayan black salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sam assembled her own sandwich and garnished the burger with avocado slices and homemade mustard sauce. I assembled one for Speedy and myself (we always do a taste test of every vegetarian dish that I cook for Sam), and I chose wasabi mayo, pickled onions and cilantro to go with the vegetarian patty.
The trick in making this vegetarian burger is to find the right proportion of ingredients so that, after frying, the patty has formed a light crisp crust while the inside remains moist and juicy. Sam thinks we can tweak the recipe a bit more (she prefers larger pieces of nuts) but this one is pretty good as it is. In fact, it’s darn delicious!
For added depth, I put in a few pinches of dukkah. The dukkah is optional but, if you can find it (or if you’re adventurous enough to make a home version), it really adds a dimension of earthiness to the vegetarian burgers.
A vegetarian burger with beans, oats and nuts
- 1/4 cup nuts (I used peanuts but feel free to go with your preference), chopped
- 1/4 cup rolled oats
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds (I used black but white is fine too)
- 1/3 cup cooked beans mashed
- 4 tablespoons bell pepper chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic minced
- 4 tablespoons panko
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- Himalayan black salt (optional), to taste
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- olive oil for shallow frying
- Heat a small frying pan. Toast the nuts and oats until lightly browned. Add the sesame seeds and continue toasting for another 30 seconds or so. Transfer to a mixing bowl and cool for a few minutes.
- Add the beans, bell pepper, garlic and panko to the bowl. Mix everything together. Season with salt, pepper and, optionally, Himalayan black salt.
- Stir in the beaten egg.
- Reheat the pan. Pour in enough olive oil to reach a depth of about an eighth of an inch.
- Divide the burger mixture into three portions. Form each portion into a ball.
- When the olive oil is hot, drop in the balled burger mixture and push down with your fingers to flatten into discs about three-quarters of an inch thick.
- Fry the vegetarian burger patties over medium heat until lightly browned and crisp, flipping halfway through to brown both sides, about two minutes per side.
- If you want to assemble your vegetarian burger sandwich the way I did, here’s how. Split a bun and lay a burger on the bottom half. Mix together a tablespoonful of mayonnaise with enough wasabi to suit your taste. Spoon the wasabi mayo on the burger. Top with pickled onions and torn cilantro. Serve and enjoy.