I like a good juicy burger with cheese, mustard, ketchup, tomato, lettuce and pickle…cooked medium rare. I’ve never been a big fan of the veggie burger. Possibly, it is because I’ve only had the Boca burger and the Morningstar burger. To me, these taste like soggy cardboard…or at least what I think soggy cardboard would taste like.
Enter the recipe below. I found it on the site that wastes time, otherwise known as Pinterest. I changed things up a bit to make it tastier (even if I do say so myself). My mind has been changed. I still like my burger, but these are delicious…and if you take off the cheese and use panko bread crumbs instead of leftover garlic bread, they are vegan.
Veggie (Vegan) Burger
1 1/2 pounds button mushrooms, trimmed
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 thyme sprigs (from my garden)
2 large leeks, chopped fine (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 large celery rib, chopped fine (about 1/2 cup)
1 medium clove garlic, grated on a microplane grater (about 1 teaspoon)
1 small jalapeno (also from my garden)
3/4 cup dry pearl barley
1 (14-ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and patted dry on paper towels
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon seasoning, I used steak seasoning
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 1/2-cups bread crumbs, I used leftover garlic bread
Preheat oven to 350. Toss mushrooms with olive oil, add thyme, salt and pepper. Scatter thyme over mushrooms. Seed and chop the jalapeno and add to cookie sheet with mushrooms. Bake until mushrooms are dark brown…about 30 minutes. Set aside.
While mushrooms are roasting, heat two tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, add leeks and celery and stir every so often until they are softened but not brown. Add garlic and stir constantly for about 30 seconds until the kitchen is filled with the delicious scent of garlic. Put it all in a bowl and set aside.
Cook barley according to package directions. Transfer cooked barley to a kitchen towel or a bunch of paper towels, roll and squeeze to remove the excess moisture. Dump in a large bowl.
Put half of the garbanzo beans in a food processor with flour, baking powder, soy sauce and seasoning. Process to a smooth paste. Dump in with the barley. Pulse the rest of the chickpeas until chunky but not pasty. Add to the barley mixture.
Dump the cooled mushrooms to the food processor and pulse until finely chopped but not pureed. Add to barley mix. Repeat with the leeks and celery.
Use your hands and mix everything until it molds together almost like play dough. Season to taste with salt and pepper. You can refrigerate and store the mix up to 5 days. I stored mine for 3 days to let the flavors all meld together.
IMPORTANT! Only add the bread crumbs when you are ready to cook and serve them. Then start making patties. If the mix is too dry to hold together, add water 1 TB at a time until it does. Make the patties as thick or thin as you want. I made 8 patties and they were about the size of a quarter pound burger. You must cook the patties with in 30 minutes of this step!
I cooked them in a cast iron skillet. I’m sure you could cook them on the grill too, but I wanted to control the heat and the oil. It’s important to flip only once. Cook the patties for 3-5 minutes on each side…longer if they are thick patties. I topped mine with cheese…making them veggie instead of vegan and they were delicious.