April 14, 2010
Simply the Best
I was a fairly typical teenage girl; my high school years were marked by the milestones of wearing make-up, dying my hair, going to concerts and becoming a vegetarian. And while most teenagers drift with the trends, quickly dropping one for the newer and shinier, for some reason the vegetarian thing stuck with me for nearly 6 years. Maybe I was being stubborn. Who knows. In those 6 years I passed up nearly half the offerings at Thanksgiving, walked away from bacon and ate countless Gardenburgers.
Oh why couldn't Heidi Swanson have been around when I was in high school? Because, you see that veggie burger up there? That veggie burger blows my teenage-vegetarian brain. Garbanzo beans mashed and mixed with sprouts, cilantro, onion, lemon zest, bread crumbs and held together with a little bit of egg. No weird processed ingredients with unpronounceable names, just food. And then the burger is the bun (and if you've ever eaten a veggie burger on a bun, you know how bready and dry they can be). You simply cut it open, stuff your fillings of choice in and maybe a little mayonnaise, and tuck into the wholesome goodness. I may not be a vegetarian anymore, but it doesn't mean I appreciate this burger any less.
Plus, I feel a bit more grown up now, eating my veggie burgers with a fork and knife.
Ultimate Veggie Burgers
Adapted from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Cooking
1-14 oz can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 an onion, finely chopped
Grated zest of half a lemon
1/2 cup micro sprouts, chopped
1/2 cup toasted bread crumbs
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Thinly sliced onion, tomato, avocado and extra sprouts for filling
Combine the garbanzo beans, eggs, and salt in a food processor. Puree until the mixture is the consistency of a very thick, slightly chunky hummus. Pour into a mixing bowl and stir in the cilantro, onion, zest, and sprouts. Add the breadcrumbs, stir, and let sit for a couple of minutes so the crumbs can absorb some of the moisture. Form into 4 equal sized patties that are about 1 inch in thickness.
Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium low, add the patties, cover, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, until the bottoms begin to brown. Flip the patties and cook the second side for 7 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the skillet and cool for a few minutes on a wire rack, or until able to handle without being too hot. Carefully cut each patty in half and insert fillings, serve.