The Next Veggie Burger Experiment.

 

I inherited my sister’s CSA share this week while she was away, and ended up with some eggplant.  This is something I don’t dislike, but not something I normally go out and get on purpose either.  I searched for a recipe, and as usual (when faced with a vegetable that I’m not sure what to do with) I ended up with a veggie burger recipe.  They are easy to freeze and have become a staple for my work lunches – they are filling without being overly sickening (so I don’t spend my afternoon trying to stay awake after a huge lunch!).  Thanks to Joyful Abode for the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • About 5-6 Japanese eggplants, peeled and cubed
  • 1 tablespoon garlic
  • 1-2 shredded zucchinis (optional, carrots would work as well)
  • 1 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 3/4 cup wheat germ
  • 2 or 3 beaten eggs

Instructions:

  • Saute the garlic in a couple of tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil over medium heat.
  • After a minute, add the eggplant and 3/4 cup of water.
  • Steam, covered, over medium heat about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove the cover and stir until most of the water is evaporated.
  • Remove eggplant to a bowl and mash to desired consistency (some chunks are ok!).
  • Squeeze excess water from grated zucchini/carrots and add to eggplant.
  • Chill until mixture isn’t hot anymore (30 minutes is more than enough).
  • Add Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, and wheat germ; stir.
  • Add 2 beaten eggs and combine.  (if too dry add another egg, if too moist add more breadcrumbs).
  • Chill again to allow mixture to get firm.
  • Shape patties and place on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray.
  • Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees, turning over halfway through.

Notes:

  • Boy did I stray from the path on this recipe!  First, I halved it based on the number of eggplants I got in the CSA share.  I used an 8-ball zucchini since I also inherited that with the share (they look fun!).  I used garlic powder instead of cooking fresh in the olive oil.  I added in some diced red pepper from my garden (I have two kinds, one is mild and the other is a little more spicy).  I realized as I was typing this up that I completely forgot about the wheat germ (I even had it in the kitchen!).  I was also impatient and skipped most of the chilling steps – when you’re baking these they don’t have to be quite as firm as if you are frying them.
  • Having said all that….they came out pretty good!  Not a very exciting flavor, but enjoyable and filling.  I put one on a plain hamburger bun (not my favorite but Bob loves them, so that’s what happened to be in the bread drawer this week), added some sharp cheddar cheese,  fresh sliced tomatoes from the garden, and some homemade mayo.
  • Half of this recipe made eight burgers (I do tend to make them thin and small, so if you like a heftier burger you’d probably get more like six).
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