Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Accidental Veggie Burger

This became a veggie burger, but originally, it was not my intention; I actually made this mixture as a filling for a ravioli dinner the night before. Once I had filled all of my pasta, I had a bit left over, so I decided to make an Italian-themed burger out of it the next day for lunch.

And I have to tell you, it was even better than the ravioli.

I served the patty on rustic Italian wheat bread that I smeared with ricotta. I also garnished it with oven-dried tomatoes, basil, arugula, capers, and parsley. The patty was meaty and moist without completely falling apart, which is the usual veggie-burger hazard. All of the flavors played nicely together, and as an added bonus, it was also one of the most simple veggie burger patties I've ever made. Lo and behold...The Accidental Veggie Burger!

20 onces mushrooms (crimini, button, portobello)
1 1/2 cups onion (finely diced)
salt & pepper
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
splash champagne vinegar
7-10 kalamata olives
1/4 cup ricotta
1 large egg (or two small)
1/4 - 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Roughly chop the mushrooms and place them onto a roasting pan along with the onion. Toss onion and mushrooms with the olive oil, a pinch of salt, and plenty of black pepper. Roast mixture for 20-30 minutes or until most of the moisture has evaporated. Set mixture aside to cool.

Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until well incorporated. The mixture should be the consistency of a bread dough. (If it's too loose, add a bit more panko.) Place mixture in the fridge for 20 minutes. Form patties and pan fry them in a little olive oil over medium heat until they're brown on both sides and also cooked through.