Veggie Burger Vindication

February 24, 2011

Following our pro-vegetarian campaign two days ago, MHK reader Phil submitted a recipe he came across for veggie burgers from the Farm Café.  To many, the term “veggie burger” is a huge turn-off; images of mashed mushrooms and beans formed into a patty come to mind, leaving a weird taste in the mouth.  And in many cases, this is not far off the mark – I’ve had veggie burgers that really just tasted bad; bad texture, bad flavor…bad burger.  So it was with some trepidation that we gave Phil’s recipe a try, but as it turns out, this has to be the best veggie burger around.  Rather than using mushrooms or beans or a soy product, the “meat” of the burger is eggplant-based.  Eggplant has a real meaty texture, and when it cooks down it can be mashed up like potatoes.  The scallions, parsley and garlic add a nice flavor, and the cheese and breadcrumbs bind the patty together well; plus as the patty cooks the cheese melts and creates a tasty crust on the outside.  An important step is to not forget the breadcrumbs. A certain MHK staffer did just that, and the patties didn’t hold their shape and fell apart (that staffer has of course been reprimanded and will be sent to our “clinic” for “re-education”).  The chipotle mayo is also key, as it imparts fantastic flavor and a little spice to the dish.  In his version, Phil added caramelized onions as a topping, but since not everyone at the MHK enjoys those, we added fried onion strings (like French’s or the like); they gave the burger a nice crunch of flavor.  Basically you can top this with anything you like – mustard, pickles, avocado – and it will still taste good…even for a veggie burger.  Enjoy!

Victorious Veggie Burger

(serves 4)

2 whole eggplants, peeled and 1 inch diced

2 scallions chopped

1 Tbs minced parsley

1 cup shredded medium cheddar

1 cup bread crumbs

¾ tsp black pepper

1 tsp minced garlic

¼ tsp salt

3 Tbs olive oil

1/2 cup mayo

1 canned chipotle pepper, diced

4 onion rolls (or burger buns), halved

Fried onion strings


In a large skillet, sauté eggplant on low heat till grey and very soft. In a large bowl, mix together eggplant, scallions, parsley, cheese, breadcrumbs, pepper, garlic and salt (use your hands so the eggplant mashes up nicely); let rest for ½ hour in refrigerator. Form into 4 equal patties about an inch thick. In a sauté pan, heat olive oil until shimmering hot, fry each side of patty til dark brown, about 5 minutes each side. In a small bowl, combine mayo and chipotle until well mixed.  Spread mayo on each side of roll halves.  Add onion strings on bottom half, top with burger patty and lettuce. Close with top half.  Eat!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: