What do I serve at a cookout for my vegetarian friends? Veggie burgers of course. I found this recipe in an old Cook's Illustrated magazine from 2005 and I never really had a good excuse to make them. I knew that Ben and the kids wouldn't really be jumping for joy at the sound of veggie burgers so I just held onto the recipe until I had some good company to share are appreciate my meatless burgers. We hosted a cookout a few weekends ago and I served both veggie and beef burgers, believe it or not, the veggie burgers were a hit.
These burgers do require a bit a effort but I made mine a day in advance so that I didn't have to worry about them on the day of the cookout. Also, the recipe makes 12 large burgers so you can store any leftovers in your freezer.
3/4 cup dried brown lentils
2 1/2 teaspoons teaspoons salt
3/4 cup bulgur wheat
2 Tablespoons oil
2 medium onions, chopped fine
1 celery rib, chopped fine
1 leek, chopped fine (white and light green parts only)
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 pound white mushrooms, sliced about 1/4" thick
1 cup raw unsalted cashews
2 cups panko
1/3 cup mayonnaise (I used light mayo)
12 burger buns
Heat 1 Tablespoon oil in a skillet. Add onions, celery, leek and garlic. Cook about 10 minutes.
Heat 1 more Tablespoon oil in skillet and add mushrooms. Cook 12 minutes. Spread onto baking sheet to cool.
Stir in mayonnaise.
Grill patties at a low temperature. (I set my Big Green Egg at 275.) Grill without moving for 5-10 minutes and turn carefully. These patties do take a delicate hand when moving on the grill to keep them from falling apart.
The Big Green Egg did it again - it gave my veggie burgers a nice flavor.
I served my burgers on whole wheat buns.
I like to dress mine up to with as many vegetables as I can fit on top. This time, I opted for lettuce, tomato and avocado.
These burgers were really good. After our cookout, we all headed down to the pool and spent the afternoon in the sun. When it was time to head home, we all agreed to meet back at our house for dinner - a repeat of the cookout lunch. (Gotta love friends who like leftovers.) I think that I'm going to have to make another batch of these to keep in my freezer. Even though I'm not a vegetarian - I really prefer these burgers to beef burgers.
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