I’ve been meaning for a while to post a recipe from Vegetarian Suppers from Deborah Madison’s Kitchen, to go with the review I wrote. It’s actually very hard to choose just one, but these burgers are are a recipe I make a lot. They taste far less nutty or mushroomy than you would expect (Andrew doesn’t much like nuts *or* mushrooms, but he likes these) – the flavour could best be described as deliciously savoury. I’ve changed the method a bit – I find that most homemade veggie burgers are mushy, which is fine, but that doesn’t work so well when grilled or done in a frying pan. Instead, I bake the burgers, which makes life a lot easier.Your shopping list olive oil 1 large onion, diced dried sage, rosemary, thyme and / or oregano 300g mushrooms, chopped 1/2 cup cashews, chopped 1/2 cup pecans, chopped 1 tsp soy sauce sat and pepper to taste 1 cup cooked bulgur or brown rice 1/2 cup grated cheddar (soy cheese works here) 1 egg or 1/3 cup drained mashed tofu 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
Now what will you do with it?
Heat the oil in a skillet (does anyone actually do this, really?) add the onion and herbs, and cook over high heat until the onion is brown in places and starting to soften. Add the mushrooms and nuts, and cook stirring frequently (nuts like to burn) until the mushrooms release their juices and start to take them up again. Season with soy sauce, salt and pepper, and bung the whole lot into a food processor.
Add everything else and process until you get a ground meat-ish texture. If one is feeling terribly professional, one could always break off a bit of the mixture and fry it in oil and then taste it. Frankly, I just taste the raw mixture – the flavour is close enough for me.
Divide the mixture into 6 patties. Incidentally, these freeze beautifully, which is what I usually do with this mix, for a fast-food option later in the week. Heat the oven to 170°C. Put the patties onto a tray covered with baking paper, and bake for about 15 minutes. Flip with a spatula thingie and bake for another 15 minutes, or until it all holds together nicely and is a bit browned.
You’ll have noticed, I’m sure, that you can make this vegan, egg-free or dairy free by following the appropriate variations above. You can make it gluten free by using rice instead of bulgur and using crumbs from rice crackers or a gluten-free bread (cornbread would be great, I think). You are never going to make this nut-free. Sorry.
I usually serve these in a bread roll with mayonnaise, tomato, sautéed garlicky spinach, fried onions, roasted peppers and cheese, but you don’t have to do that. You could make this mixture into rissoles or a meatloaf of sorts, and serve them with roast potatoes and pumpkin and carrots, and broccoli with cheese sauce. Or you could use it to stuff cabbage leaves, or rainbow chard leaves, or beetroot leaves, or onions with the middles dug out and roasted, or capsicums, or anything really. If you were careful with them, they might even make vegetarian meatballs, but I think they’d be a bit fragile for that.