Like many of you, I'm sure, I collect far too many cookbooks - with best intentions, of course - and never end up using them. They get lost on the shelf, perused and put aside, I cook from whatever I have, or rely on recipes on the internet. I'm trying to put a stop to that and deliberately picked up a cookbook I would otherwise have no reason to - but who really needs a reason?
I pulled Joni Newman's The Best Veggie Burgers on the Planet off the cookbook shelf and flipped through. I'm pretty sure G strongly influenced my purchasing this book. Joni's books are inventive, gorgeous, and a lot of fun to read but I personally don't eat the way her cookbooks would have it. G is the burger person. I like...salads.
So we compromised. I made the Earth Burger, which is full of veggies, has simple ingredients I either had on hand or could easily buy, and was even photographed atop a salad! At the same time, it wasn't something I would have come up with on my own and sounded hearty enough that it would be an actual burger and something both G and I would enjoy.
The recipe calls for 2 cups of cooked rice - so I started that first and at the same time, worked on Amey's recipe for english muffins. While The Best Veggie Burgers has recipes for buns and rolls, I opted for the muffins because they'd been bookmarked for a long time and I feel like they're more versatile (i.e. I can eat them anytime! I'd feel weird eating a burger bun for breakfast or a snack.)
Amey's came out way better looking than mine did and I had a hell of a time forming the balls, but they taste exactly like I remember english muffins, even if they're too thin to "fork-split." The most fun part is rolling them in cornmeal!
SO. Bread part down, rice having cooked, I set to the burgers. Chop, mix, pour, let sit, and bake. Easy. The recipe (you can find it online here!) calls for sauteeing mushrooms and garlic in a skillet but I needed the skillet for the muffins and I also didn't feel like that step (and that extra oil) was necessary, so I tossed them raw in with the rest of the ingredients. The veggies and rice make for a pretty chunky mixture and I wasn't sure everything would hold together, but it did (vital wheat gluten and soy flour do the binding work.)
They are browned and crispy on the outside from the wild rice and corn, and chewy inside. I served mine on a salad (romaine, spinach, celery, avocado, red onion, tomato) with a tahini-mustard dressing.
And G had his on a muffin.
We both really enjoyed the burger. Haxan was very interested in them too.
I'd like to keep exploring the veggie burger book. A lot of it relies on TVP, wheat gluten, and some processed ingredients a bit more than I'd prefer but recipes that apply are clearly marked as "Wheat free" or "Soy free." Browsing through, there's a Oktoberfest Kraut burger, an Ethiopian Berbere patty, a Super Quinoa burger, and a Potato Samosa burger - all of which I'd especially like to try, and soon.
Joni does what she knows and does it well so I can't wait for the next time. Does anyone else have this book? Or have a favorite type of burger?