The Ultimate Veggie Burger

August 1, 2013 at 9:21 am 10 comments

Ultimate Veggie Burger 7-13I know I’m going out on a limb by calling this the Ultimate Veggie Burger, but after our Summer Garden & Grilling Cooking Class, all ten people who tasted it agreed.  What makes it the ultimate?  First of all, it is true Fresh Food in a Flash.  No frozen patties that contain extra stuff you don’t want to eat.  Delicious, spicy, chewy, delicate, flavors that keep popping in your mouth – no cardboard here.  Even us meat eaters would choose this veggie burger over it’s meaty brethren.  Well most of the time; unless the meat is prime chopped, cooked rare – a discussion for a later time. No guilt associated with this burger!

Form veggie burgers into slider-sized patties using a round cutter.

Form veggie burgers into slider-sized patties using a round cutter.

OMG, the flavors in my mouth as I am eating one right now are amazing!  I taste the smokiness from the black beans and jalapeno spice along with the crunch of the breadcrumb crust combined with the delicate center composed of the earthiness of the mushroom, carrot, zucchini and onion bound together with brown rice, cashews (splurge!) and a little breadcrumbs.   Add the heirloom tomato slice, Kerrygold Dubliner cheese slice, fresh lettuce leaf and a spicy mayo (made with smoked paprika and ground red pepper) and I’m in heaven!  Veggie burger heaven.

We added Kerrygold Dubliner cheese, heirloom tomatoes, fresh leaf lettuce and a spicy mayo to our burgers.

We added Kerrygold Dubliner cheese, heirloom tomatoes, fresh leaf lettuce and a spicy mayo to our burgers.

I attended a Culinary Historians of Southern California lecture years ago to learn about the History of the Hamburger from Andrew F. Smith, author of Hamburger: A Global History.  What stuck with me was the importance of what you put on your burger.  Everyone has their favorite toppings.  The real attraction of the burger is not the meat but the way you dress it up.  I think about that every time I prep a burger and I think it is true.  But with the veggie burger, the flavors in the burger really stand out as much as the extras.

Fresh made brioche buns made these burgers extra special.

Fresh made brioche buns made these burgers extra special.

What also adds to their specialness, is the fresh brioche bun – admittedly not Fresh Food made in a Flash, but worth the extra effort of only about 10-15 minutes hands-on time and at least an hour of rising and a quick bake of 15 minutes.

Brioche buns are light, soft and buttery.

Brioche buns are light, soft and buttery.

These brioche buns with their soft buttery, eggy mixture are so delicious that you will want to eat them alone.    But try to hold out unless you have a few extra.

The brioche dough made in the food processor will be sticky.

The brioche dough made in the food processor or stand mixer will be sticky.

Make the brioche dough in the food processor or a stand mixer and then spoon it into an oiled muffin pan.

Fill the muffin cups 1/2 full and they will rise to the top.

Fill the muffin cups 1/2 full and they will rise to the top.

Fill muffin cups 1/2 full so they don’t puff up to much, or your burger will look like the Tower of Pisa.

Veggie Burger Goodness!

Veggie Burger Goodness!

My inspiration for this veggie burger was one I ate at the Pasadena restaurant, La Grande Orange Cafe.  Instead of it being solid and boring, the interior squished into the bun and was memorably good.  I knew I had to create a burger this good.  So the day after our June knife skills class, I took some of the leftover veggies we sliced and put them into the food processor with a can of black beans and some spices and bread crumbs.

Lundberg's new short grain brown rice was a perfect ingredient to bind the veg burger together.

Lundberg’s new short grain brown rice was a perfect ingredient to bind the veg burger together.

The texture was good, the flavor was there,  but I was never quite happy with the binding ingredients.  It needed more.  Then a friend suggested brown rice.  Yeah!  I had a sample of a new short grain brown rice from Lundberg Farms in my pantry, so I cooked some up, added it to the mixture, tasted it and I felt I had reached the Ultimate in my Veggie Burger madness. The stickiness of the short grain rice bound the whole thing together beautifully.  I learned early on that this burger was too delicate for the grill, but dusting them with bread crumbs and baking them off in the oven on a high heat was perfect.

Extra Veggie Burger mixture formed into patties and ready for the freezer

Extra Veggie Burger mixture formed into patties and ready for the freezer

It seems like a lot of effort to go through for a burger, but taste them and you will understand why.  These are no ordinary burgers, they are The Ultimate Veggie Burger!

Make up a batch and throw some of them in the freezer for when you get the urge for more, which I promise will be soon.

Print Veggie Burger Recipe

Print Brioche Buns Recipe

Ultimate Veggie Burger

This recipe makes 15 slider-sized burgers.  Veggie burger mixture is soft and does not harden when cooked like a meat burger.  Consequently, they should be cooked in an oven and the smaller the size, the easier they are to handle.  I don’t recommend cooking them on the grill or they will fall apart.    I’ve added cooked brown rice as a binder to give the burger shape,  Cooking the rice adds time to the recipe, so plan ahead, or better yet, make this recipe when you have leftover rice.   You can replace the bread crumbs with cornmeal if you want to make them gluten free.

  • 1 1/2 cups onion, diced
  • 2 Tb olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 jalapeno pepper seeded and minced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut in chunks
  • 1 zucchini, cut in chunks
  • 6  button mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 1 cup cooked brown or a short/medium grain rice
  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 Tbs fresh herbs, such as basil, oregano, marjoram
  • 1/3 cup + unseasoned bread crumbs (extra needed for dipping patties)
  • 1/4 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground red pepper or black pepper to taste

1. In skillet, cook onions in 2 T olive oil until translucent.

2. Meanwhile, In food processor process garlic and jalapeno until minced.  Add in carrot, zucchini, mushrooms, cashew nuts, cooked brown rice, black beans, onions, herbs, and process until coarsely chopped.   Add in spices and breadcrumbs and pulse to combine.

3. Form veg patties, dip in additional breadcrumbs and  place on wax paper.  Refrigerate or freeze until ready to use.

4. Preheat oven to 400°.  Spray or oil baking sheet. Place prepared patties on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 15 minutes for a slider size or longer for a larger patty.

Servings: 15    92 calories per serving.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes   Cooking Time: 15 minutes   Total Time: 30 minutes

Oven Temperature: 400°F

Brioche Buns

Try this easy brioche recipe for buns that will make great sliders.  The buns are soft, buttery and delicious.  The batter will be loose and is best made in a container such as a muffin tin.

  • 3/4  cup milk
  • 3 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks) room temp.
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg, mixed with 1 T water for egg wash

1. Heat milk to 100°.  It should be warm to touch, like hot tap water.

2. In bowl of food processor or stand mixer, add 1 cup of flour, the yeast and sugar.  Pour warm milk over the yeast.  Let it soak up for a minute, then process until combined.  Add remaining flour and salt.  Process until combined.

3. Add eggs one at a time and mix until combined.

4. Cut butter into chunks and add gradually to mixture. Using a rubber spatula, plop mixture into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour, then punch it down. (or if you are in a hurry, got to step number 5 and let rise once in the muffin tin.)

5. Grease cups in a muffin tin.  Spoon brioche mixture into muffin cups, filling them 1/2 full.

6. Brush brioche with egg wash and let rise until doubled.  Bake at 400° for about 15 minutes or until buns are golden brown.

7. Loosen the buns from the muffin tin and serve or store in an airtight container.

Servings: 24    164 calories per serving

Oven Temperature: 400°F

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10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Sockmonkeys Kitchen  |  August 1, 2013 at 11:14 am

    oh wow! That brioche looks amazing! Can’t decide if I like the idea of the Kerrygold or the jalapeno more. YUMMMMM!

    Like

    Reply
  • 4. Cathy @ She Paused 4 Thought  |  August 3, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    Thank you for making these amazing burgers today. They were fantastic. I can’t wait to make them at home.

    Like

    Reply
    • 5. Fresh Food in a Flash  |  August 3, 2013 at 6:38 pm

      I’m so glad that you liked them. Look forward to hearing about your veggie burger experience!

      Like

      Reply
  • 6. Dana @ FoodieGoesHealthy  |  August 9, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    Hi Patricia- These veggie burgers were amazing, truly the “ultimate.” I loved them so much that I am going to make them this weekend. I have a few questions about details: 1. What kind of mushrooms did you use? 2. What kind of bread crumbs did you use and were they seasoned? 3. Is there 1/3 c of bread crumbs inside the patty, then more for dipping both sides? 4. When do you add the sautéed onions? 5. When is the best time to freeze: before or after baking? Thanks so much! I am very excited to make these at home.

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    Reply
    • 7. Fresh Food in a Flash  |  August 9, 2013 at 8:57 pm

      Quick reply. I used button mushrooms. 1/3 unseasoned breadcrumbs went into mixture + more to coat them in. Onions go in at same time as beans, etc. Freeze leftovers unbaked. Please let me know how they turn out for you.

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      Reply
    • 8. FoodieGoesHealthy  |  August 9, 2013 at 9:40 pm

      Thank you so much for the additional tips. I’ll let you know how they turn out.

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      Reply
      • 9. Dana @ FoodieGoesHealthy  |  September 6, 2013 at 9:02 am

        Hi Patricia-
        I made these veggie burgers and they came out great. Everyone in the family loved them including the kids. I made them the night before and refrigerated overnight– the breadcrumbs were still fine! I can’t wait to have the batch I have waiting in the freezer. Thanks for the great recipe!

        Like

      • 10. Fresh Food in a Flash  |  September 9, 2013 at 4:12 pm

        Dana – so glad that the Veggie Burgers were a big hit. I’m also glad that you clarified some of the details, which I will go back and input into the recipe. Patricia

        Like

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Patricia K. Rose

I am a Chef, Cooking Teacher and Food Blogger. Learn how to create delicious and healthy food in a FLASH.

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