OK, ladies and gentlemen. This is not your average boring, frozen, bland veggie burger from a box. This is the real deal. There's no egg, no rice and no barley. Just eggplant, aromatics, cheese and some bread crumbs. If you are a burger lover, I feel certain this will satiate your burger craving. And for vegetarians, you'll be over the moon!
Servings4- 6 patties
AuthorThe Cowgirl Gourmet adapted this recipe from The Farm Cafe in Portland, Oregon
2globe eggplantstops removed and diced into 1/2 inch cubes (about 4 1/2 cups)
1cupshredded medium cheddar cheese or Daiya vegan cheddar shreds or Vegan Gourmet cheddar cheese
1 1/2cupPanko breadcrumbs, gluten-free breadcrumbs or homemade breadcrumbs
2tablespoonsfresh Italian flat-leaf parsleychopped
1/4teaspoonkosher or sea saltplus more to taste
3/4teaspoonfreshly ground black pepper
6tablespoonsolive oilplus more as needed
Over medium-high heat, add 4 tablespoons olive oil and saute eggplant until very soft, adding more oil if needed. Sprinkle with kosher salt. Once slightly softened, add the shallots, onions and garlic, add another sprinkle of salt and continue cooking until everything is nice and soft.
While the eggplant is cooking, in a big bowl add the breadcrumbs, parsley and shredded cheese and set aside.
When the eggplant mixture is cooked, take 3/4 of it and place it in a food processor, and place the remaining 1/4 in the big bowl with the dry ingredients. Pulse or blend the eggplant mixture until smooth.
Add the eggplant mixture to the dry ingredients in the bowl and stir to combine well. The hot eggplant mixture will melt the cheese. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if needed.
Form the eggplant mixture into 4-6 patties and place them on a cookie sheet or large dish lined with parchment or wax paper. Stick them in a freezer for 10-15 minutes to flash cool them. Then place them in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Remove the patties from the fridge and in a saute pan big enough to cook at least two or three burgers at a time, heat 2 Tablespoons olive oil. When hot, add veggie burgers and let cook for about 5 minutes per side, depending on how big your burgers are. The cheese will create a crispy crust on the outside and you'll want it to be heated through, so give it time. Flip the burgers and cook another 5 minutes until crispy on the outside. Repeat with the rest of the patties.
Serve in a bun and top with caramelized onions or any other condiments you want. A side salad makes a great addition to this healthy meal. Alternatively, you could serve the patty on top of a bunch of greens.